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Mesclun Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Updated: Nov 17, 2019

I am one of those people who likes to have a salad with dinner each night. I am always changing it around to use what's in season. This one is especially delicious. Sliced pear, blue cheese, grapes, candied pecans, shallots, and dried cranberries are all nestled in a bed of mesclun lettuce. If that doesn't sound yummy enough the dressing is a pumpkin vinaigrette. I would say this salad is pretty scrumptious. Add some grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp and a full meal is born. Or serve as a side at your next holiday celebration.

Ingredients for Mesclun Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette:

serves 4-6

5 ounces mesclun lettuce

1/2 red pear, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 green pear, cored and thinly sliced

a handful of grapes halved

1 shallot, chopped

1/3 cup candied pecans, Click HERE for Candied Pecans

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon dried cranberries

Pumpkin Vinaigrette:

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon maple syrup

dash of cayenne

pinch of ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon table salt

small jar to mix dressing

Time-Saving Tip: The salad comes together pretty quickly. Though if you want the dressing can be made earlier in the day but leave it out in room temperature. You can also prepare the salad a few hours in advance, place a paper towel on top and then wrap in plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature about an hour before serving.

Let's see what we need.

Let's make the salad.

I like to make the dressing first so it is ready when I am. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a jar and shake well. Doesn't it look great? And so easy mixing the dressing in a jar. Set aside.

Add the mesclun to a large bowl and the rest of the ingredients. I like to first place the sliced pears around the perimeter of the lettuce and then place the rest of the ingredients so it looks pretty. Now all you have to do is pour on some vinaigrette. Pour a little at a time until you have the desired amount. You might have some extra.

It's ready! This yummy salad is perfect to add to your holiday offerings. I find sometimes a fresh salad really complements all of the rich food. It is so good with the fresh fruit and pumpkin vinaigrette. I think even my husband didn't expect to love it as much as he did. He "gobbled" it up!



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