Asian Pear Spinach Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

Asian Pear Spinach Salad

They say, "Necessity is the mother of Invention."

We had planned to have a spinach salad with all sorts of goodies, including some asian pears we picked up on sale. We then suddenly discovered that we were out of any type of dressing, even our favorite Ranch mixes we keep for emergencies! In fact, we were out of garlic, so we couldn't even make our usual red wine vinaigrette. (It goes without saying that we were also out of shallots. This happened the day before our major grocery shopping trip of the month, if you can't tell.)

A mad scramble for a workable dressing promptly ensued. It had to be fast and incorporate very few ingredients, preferably all staples that we still had in the pantry. My husband found this one on and it worked out beautifully. It's well-balanced between sweet and tart, pairing up well with the sweet asian pears and the bite of red onions.

Asian Pear Spinach Salad [printable recipe]

Serves 2
  • baby spinach
  • 1/2 asian pear, seeded/cored and sliced very thinly
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • shredded Manchego, Pecorino Romano, ricotta salata, etc.
  • sunflower seeds, soy nuts or other crunchy salad topping
  • Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
Toss all together. Serve.

(I love salads, they're so easy to put together. As long as everything makes it in the bowl, you're home free.)

Maple-Cider Vinaigrette [printable recipe]

From Southern Living
  • 8 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Gradually whisk in oil until completely blended. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

OR Combine all ingredients in a vinaigrette shaker or a small sealable jar. Shake well until completely blended.