I have mentioned before that I’m a fan of the Vegetarian Journal. It’s the quarterly publication for the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) that’s filled with fact and not flash. They do not accept advertising, but rather fill their pages with in-depth articles, information and vegan recipes. For $20, you can join VRG and receive this publication. I like the Vegetarian Journal because they consistently have quick, easy and delicious recipes. This spinach salad with pears and dried cranberries is a perfect example of how good these recipes can be.
This spinach salad is going to become a regular feature in this house. In fact, after his first forkful, my in-house taste tester refused to return the serving bowl to me until he ate about half of this salad. Honestly, I was slightly worried he’d down the whole thing without giving me any.
This salad, as presented, is vegan. If you are vegetarian, you can throw some crumbled goat cheese on top for a variance of texture and you’ll add a complementary flavor. Either way, the sweetness, tartness and nuttiness of this salad is great as a quick at-home dinner treat or served to dinner guests. Next time I’ll double the recipe so I have a chance at more…
Spinach Salad with Pears and Dried Cranberries
Vegetarian Journal, Issue 3 2008
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (rice vinegar or white balsamic vinegar also work well)
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil (I used two for a lighter taste)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon apple juice concentrate
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or black pepper (Note: I used a dash of cayenne then added some freshly ground pepper)
8 cups baby spinach
1 Bosc pear, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup lightly toasted, chopped pecans (I substituted pecans for walnuts)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Combine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, concentrate, salt, and cayenne in a glass jar. (Note: or a small container with a lid.) Cover with lid and shake until blended.
Place spinach in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over spinach and toss. Divide into salad bowls and layer with pears, onions, pecans, and cranberries.