I love seasonal salads. There are endless possibilities of ingredients to combine. I have always been a big fan of pairing seasonal fruit with a savory cheese and dark leafy green. I created this combination and shared it at Thanksgiving and recent cooking demo and there were no leftovers! Greens are one of the ‘dirty dozen’ vegetables that I would consider buying organic due to higher pesticide count.

If you’re not a pear fan, a crisp Granny Smith or Fuji apple works well with spinach or romaine lettuce. I find red onions to be a flavor bully, but a few strips would pair nicely with the greens. By replacing traditional dried fruit (cranberries, cherries or raisins) with pomegranate seeds, the fiber and vitamin C content goes up while sugar is easily reduced. Pomegranates are also an excellent source of antioxidants and phytochemicals.

I enjoy apple cider vinegar for dressing, but red wine vinegar or balsamic would work well in this recipe. Canola or olive oil can be used. Add a squirt of Dijon mustard to give the dressing a little more body and texture. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Salad
6 cups organic baby spinach (1 bag)
6 cups organic arugula (1 container)
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
2 ripe D’Anjou or comice pears
¼ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
¼ cup Maytag blue cheese crumbles

Directions
Wash and spin the greens in a salad spinner and place in a large salad bowl.
Peel and separate the pomegranate set aside.
Slice the pears into small chunks and place on top of the greens.
Sprinkle chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds and blue cheese into the salad and toss.

Dressing
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. pure maple syrup

Whisk the apple cider vinegar, canola oil, mustard and maple syrup together. Drizzle over the salad and toss before serving.

Makes 10 (2 cup) servings. Nutrition facts per serving: 164 calories, 12.5 grams fat (1.8 grams saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 11.3 grams carbohydrate, 2.4 grams fiber, 3.7 grams protein, 103 mg sodium.

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