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Taste-of-Fall Salad

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
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 228 calories, 19g fat (3g saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 135mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 3g fiber), 3g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Stephanie
    Nov 29, 2019

    Great recipe! I used shaved parmesan as I like the texture and bite, but it might have been too much of the same look had I actually added the pear (totally forgot!). I only used 1 TBSP of sugar in the dressing....plenty sweet. The nuts are fantastic.

  • JMartinelli13
    Nov 12, 2017

    I loved the glazed pecans, and the use of pear. I tossed in a few dried cranberries because I had them on hand. It made for a great side dish, and adding some grilled chicken made for an amazing dinner.

  • jnjrok
    Dec 13, 2015

    The pecans really made this salad...they were delicious! It's a good salad. I substituted an apple for the pear as that is what I had on hand and it was good. I look forward to trying it with pears next time.

  • sarahhaupt
    Dec 21, 2014

    I love the sound of this salad and want to make it for Christmas Eve. However, at dinner there will someone with a tree nut allergy. Is there a non-tree nut (or even totally different ingredient) that I can add that will give similar taste/flavor of the pecans?

  • mkaskela
    Oct 4, 2013

    Very good.

  • MinCarpThorn
    Nov 1, 2011

    LOVED this salad!! So many textures and flavors, and the pears were a nice addition, something different. The cayenne pepper added to the pecans was not spicy at all...gave them a burst of flavor. For sure a keeper!!!

  • Derby5
    Feb 14, 2011

    Every time we serve this salad to our guests, they request the recipe. Great flavor and wonderful texture.

  • ratsrear
    Nov 27, 2010

    This is a wonderful tasting that is asked for again and again!!

  • Louise.Hooper
    Oct 10, 2010

    Lovely recipe. I used maple syrup in the dressing in place of the sugar but other than that made as is. Got rave reviews when I took it to a celebration lunch. The birthday boy doesn't like fruit/veg but he ate this one!

  • getavilla
    Oct 7, 2010

    I thought the salad dressing was very bland until midway through eating it, then I remembered I hadn't added all the ingredients. The final half was delicious.