Spinach, Pear, Dried Cranberry and Maple Glazed Walnut Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

By Irvin Lin

With all the heavy winter dishes this season, sometimes you need a little bit of a break. This spinach salad is the perfect solution. The maple glazed walnuts and the warm bacon vinaigrette make this a special salad, perfect for company or just an evening in from the bitter cold outside.

  • Course: Salad

All you need for this recipe and more...


  • baby spinach greens
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Cinnamon
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Dried cranberries
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • garlic clove
  • Glazed Walnuts:
  • kosher salt
  • Maple Syrup
  • pears
  • Salad
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shallots
  • thick-cut bacon
  • Vinaigrette
  • walnuts


  1. Make the glazed walnuts by placing the walnuts, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon in a large skillet and cooking over medium high heat until the maple syrup has reduced and nuts are coated and sticky, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the walnuts onto a baking sheet and spread apart (careful, it's hot!) into a single layer. Let cool.
  2. Make the vinaigrette by cooking the bacon in a medium sized stainless steel skillet until crisp and the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon from the pan to a plate lined with paper towels. Leave the fat in the pan and add the olive oil, shallots, garlic and brown sugar to the pan and cook for 1 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently. Pour into a measuring cup or small bowl and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Assemble the salad by placing the spinach greens, pear slices, dried cranberries in a bowl. Sprinkle the glazed walnuts on top and the crisp bacon. Drizzle and toss with the warm vinaigrette and serve immediately.