If you love fruit and cheese this is going to be your new favorite salad! Spinach and Pear Salad with Apple Ginger Dressing is a fresh combination of fruit and Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, finished off with a homemade apple and ginger dressing.
Sweet and savory
I’m a sweet and savory person to the core! I love mixing flavors and textures in my salads. Since pears and apples can easily be found year round, it’s easy to make this salad during any season. Spinach and Pear Salad with Apple Ginger Dressing is a quick and easy salad to make if you’re in a hurry (takes about 15 minutes) , and also perfect for make-ahead.
I’ve found the secret to peeling fruit that tends to go brown is to toss it in a bit of salad dressing and then refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, just toss the fruit with greens (they’ll already be coated with dressing) add the remaining salad ingredients and pass the rest of the salad dressing alongside when ready to eat. No worrying about cutting up pears and apples just before serving!
I love apples, pears and Brie together, but cutting up Brie is a bit messy and time consuming for a big salad. If I’m making this for just a few people and plating the salad instead of serving it in a salad bowl, I slice the Brie when very cold and place on top of the salad, instead of tossing in with the other ingredients. Sharp White Cheddar is a delicious alternative to Brie and pairs perfectly with the rest of the salad ingredients!
Kale. Try it. My Way. You’ll Like it.
This salad is perfect for warm weather gatherings coming up such as wedding and baby showers, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation dinners. I love chicken in this salad, but if you are serving it with a main dish, or other heartier salads, you may leave the chicken out and just serve it with greens and fruit. Which brings me to the greens in Spinach and Pear Salad with Apple Ginger Dressing. Kale is also a main ingredient in this salad. Before you tell me you hate kale, read this post all about massaging kale! I promise once you start massaging your kale it will change the way you look at eating kale. This Grilled Chicken Salad with Kale has also been a huge hit on ABK, and one we have made over and over again!
Spinach and Pear Salad with Apple Ginger Dressing
1 bunch of kale, washed, trimmed of stem and chopped or one 10-12 oz bag of kale chopped
1 fresh lemon
1 12 oz bag of spinach, cleaned
2 pears, sliced or chopped, cored, skin on
2 apples, Honeycrisp or Fiji, cored, chopped, skin on
2 large chicken breast halves, cooked, cooled and chopped
2 cups grated sharp white cheese or Brie, sliced into 1/2 inch squares
Pumpkin seeds or sliced almonds, about 1 ½ cups
Dressing (enough for a double to triple batch of salad)
⅓ cup apple juice
⅓ cup white balsamic
½ cup olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lemon peel (optional)
2-3 tablespoons honey or sugar to taste
salt and pepper about ¼ teaspoon each
Make dressing by combining all ingredients in a large jar or a blender and whisk until smooth. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. I like to use an immersion blender to mix salad dressing.
Place kale in a large bowl and massage with juice of one lemon until volume decreases by about half. This takes about 1-2 minutes.
Add one bag of fresh spinach to kale and toss lightly, do not drain lemon juice.
Slice pear and apples and set in small bowl. Toss with ½ cup of dressing (whisk dressing first to mix well) to prevent from browning.
Combine fruit, greens, chicken in a serving bowl or platter. Just before serving, fold in cheese and pumpkin seeds , and drizzle with dressing.
I reserve a bit of the cheese, chicken, fruit and nuts for topping the salad for presentation. Pass dressing along side of salad.
Serves 6-8 as a main dish or 12-14 as a side.