Cranberry Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola

Carley Petersen, Oakland, CA

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Cranberry Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola

Christina Schmidhofer

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With washed spinach ― baby and otherwise ― available in most supermarkets these days, a fresh spinach salad is almost no work at all. Carley Petersen found that adding just a few great ingredients makes it a very special salad. Toasting the pecans brings out their rich, sweet flavor.

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 15 minutes

MAKES: 6 servings

1 cup pecan halves or pieces

3 quarts baby spinach leaves (about 8 oz.), rinsed and crisped

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup crumbled gorgonzola or other blue cheese (4 oz.)

3 tablespoons lemon-flavored extra-virgin olive oil; or regular olive oil plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

1. In a shallow baking pan, bake pecans in a 350° oven until golden in the center (break one to check), 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. In a large bowl, gently mix spinach, pecans, cranberries, crumbled gorgonzola, olive oil, and vinegar. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Per serving: 295 cal., 76% (225 cal.) from fat; 6.3 g protein; 25 g fat (6 g sat.); 15 g carbo (4 g fiber); 331 mg sodium; 17 mg chol.

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