Best Winter Salad is so delicious and easy to make any day of the week! We love this hearty salad full of apples, pears, pomegranate, maple cinnamon almonds and a light, tangy dressing!
I’ve been beyond excited to have a really good salad to open up the year with. This has been on our menu for a few weeks now, and yeah, it’s just a salad but let me tell you it is a burst of welcome refreshment after all of the holiday meals. We start with a bunch of spring mix which when it comes to lettuce, actually has some good flavor! Then, a couple of sliced pears, sliced honey crisp apples, mandarins, pomegranate, maple cinnamon almonds, and a good sprinkle of either goat or blue cheese. If you are a big meat eater, you can definitely cook up some bacon and crumble over the salad, or serve with some easy Baked Chicken Breast. If you are a salad lover like we are, definitely try our crazy good Tex-Mex style Alfresco Salad Recipe and Perfect Spinach Salad too!
The only “cooking” part of this salad is the maple cinnamon roasted almonds, and they only take about 10-15 minutes. It’s a simple mixture of 2 cups of raw almonds, cinnamon, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Then they roast on a big sheet pan, and they do need to cool a bit before eating. You can speed that process up if you want by placing the sheet pan right into the refrigerator to cool quickly. I recommend making them up ahead of time because you probably won’t use them all for the salad anyway. That’s fine, they’re good for snacking too! Once they’re cool, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- This recipe can be made ahead. If you want to make in advance, it’s best to toss your apple and pear slices with a good squeeze of lemon juice to help prevent browning. Even then, I’d recommend eating this within 2-3 days.
- You can mix up the spring mix, mandarins, pomegranates, almonds, and cheese ahead and then just add some sliced pears and apples before serving.
- I didn’t get a picture of the dressing but it is tangy, refreshing and so GOOD! It is a simple mixture of cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. You can make this in a mason jar, or just any small container with a lid. Shake it up well before serving, and you can make ahead or store any extra in the refrigerator for up to 1 week for best results.
Best Winter Salad
FOR THE ALMONDS:
FOR THE SALAD:
- 10 Ounces Spring Mix chopped
- 1 Large Pear thinly sliced
- 1 Large Apple thinly sliced
- 1/2 Cup Pomegranate Arils
- 1/2 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese OR Gorgonzola Cheese
- 4 Green Onions, Sliced
FOR THE ALMONDS:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the almonds in a large bowl and add the syrup, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne if using. Stir well to combine.
- Place the almonds on the prepared baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 13-16 minutes until slightly darker brown.
FOR THE DRESSING:
- Add the olive oil, cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper to a mason jar, or any container with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well combined.
FOR THE SALAD:
- Assemble the salad by adding the chopped spring mix to a bowl and topping with the pear, apple pomegranate arils, cheese, and green onions. Drizzle over the dressing as desired and serve immediately.