My parents stayed with me at a friend's beautiful ranch for the holidays and I made them this great salad. It turned into every night's first course. —Kristin Kossak, Bozeman, Montana
- 2/3 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
- Dash cayenne pepper
- Dash ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 package (5 ounces) spring mix salad greens
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium pear, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- In a large heavy skillet, cook the pecans, 2 tablespoons vinegar, cayenne and cinnamon over medium heat until nuts are toasted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook and stir for 2-4 minutes or until sugar is melted. Spread on foil to cool.
- Place salad greens in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, mustard, salt and remaining vinegar and sugar; drizzle over greens and toss to coat. Arrange the greens, pear slices and pecans on six salad plates. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Taste-of-Fall Salad in Taste of Home October/November 2009, p26
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