Spinach Pear Salad


This recipe for spinach pear salad comes from "Seattle Kitchen" by Tom Douglas.



  • ½ pound smokey slab bacon, sliced (about twelve ¼-inch-thick slices)

  • 12 cups loosely packed spinach leaves, washed well, dried, stems trimmed, and torn into pieces if leaves are large

  • 6 cups loosely packed frisee, stems trimmed, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces

  • cup thinly sliced red onions

  • 3 small pears, halved, cored, and thinly sliced

  • 6 small bunches grapes


  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ cup vegetable oil or peanut oil


  • ¾ cup cashews (about 3 ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne


  1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, sesame seeds, garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Set aside.

  2. To make the curried cashews, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, toast the cashews until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the melted butter, rosemary, curry powder, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne in a bowl. Add the toasted cashews while they are still hot and toss with a rubber spatula so they are thoroughly coated with the spices and butter. Leave the oven on to cook the bacon.

  3. Put the bacon on a baking sheet, place it in the oven, and cook until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and cut the slices into 1-inch pieces. Keep the bacon warm.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, frisee, red onions, and sliced pears. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat everything well. Divide the salad among 6 plates. Garnish each salad with pieces of warm bacon and spiced cashews. Set a grape cluster on the side of each salad.

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