Mixed Green Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese, and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Mixed green salad with pecans, dried cranberries, goat cheese, red bell pepper, and a honey mustard balsamic vinaigrette.

Mixed Green Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese, Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Elise Bauer

For the last couple of years, my neighbor Molly has been bringing this salad to our neighborhood potluck parties, and every time everyone goes completely zonkers over it!

The basic elements are mixed greens with pecans and goat cheese, tossed with a sweet mustard vinaigrette.

The recipe has plenty of room for improvisation—use baby spinach or butter lettuce instead of or in addition to the mixed greens, orange segments or sliced kumquats for a citrus note, toasted walnuts instead of pecans, etc.

Use more or less of any ingredient to taste.

Mixed Green Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese, Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Elise Bauer

Mixed Green Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese, and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 8 servings

If making in advance for a party, do not add the dressing until you are ready to serve. The recipe makes more salad dressing than is required for the salad.

Ingredients

Pecans:

  • 4 ounces whole pecans

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard

  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Salad:

  • 1 pound mixed salad greens, including fresh baby spinach

  • 4 ounces goat cheese

  • 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries

  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-2 inch thin slices

Method

  1. Toast the pecans:

    Preheat oven to 300°F. Put the pecans in a bowl, sprinkle the melted butter over them, and toss until they are all well coated with butter. Then sprinkle the pecans with sugar and gently toss again until they are lightly coated.

    Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and spread the coated pecans out over it in a single layer.

    Bake in the 300°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to touch.

  2. Make the dressing:

    Place the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey mustard, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes in a jar, cover and shake until the dressing is well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Toss the salad:

    Place the salad greens and spinach in a large bowl. Add the goat cheese, dried cranberries, red bell pepper, and pecans. Toss with 1/4 cup of the dressing.

    Serve immediately. Chill remaining dressing.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
239 Calories
20g Fat
12g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 239
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 35mg 173%
Calcium 59mg 5%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 257mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.