Candied Pecan, Craisin, Feta Salad with …

When my hubby is out of town, I get to enjoy meals that I may not normally get to. He does’t believe a salad can be the star menu option for dinner.  I do. He hates when I order salads when we go out to eat at restaurants, but I do.  I adore salads. So when he leaves, you better believe I am chowing down on a salad for dinner :) Not only are they delicious, but can they seriously get any easier?!

To me, salads are the perfect way to enjoy a light and refreshing meal.  You can dress up a salad to make it one of a kind and to make different flavors come together and unite to make it one irresistible dish.

This salad is one of my top 3 favorite salads of all time.  Candied pecans provide such a sweet and yummy crunch while the cranberries and feta bring such strong flavors to the plate, yet surprisingly, combine to bring a delicious and desirable taste.  The creamy balsamic vinaigrette takes these odd but delicious ingredients and tops it off with such a unique and perfect dressing that makes these flavors and textures work together perfectly.  

 

My mom made this salad for me what seems like forever ago and I have fallen in love with it.  In fact, I fall in love with it more every time I eat it.  How cliche does that sound but it is so true.  And yes, I fall in love with food… don’t you?! Originally she used store bought Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette, but then we found this recipe from My life as a Mrs. for a homemade version and now use it all the time. It is SO delicious.

Please excuse me now while I wipe off my drool and head to the kitchen to go and make me one of these salads.  You should do the same.  Your palate will be thanking you for it with every bite.

 

Candied Pecan, Craisin, Feta Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Candied Pecan, Craisin, Feta Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette... This is the most amazing and delicious salad! #salad #recipe

By Chef in Training October 19, 2012

This is the most amazing and delicious salad! Candied pecans provide such a sweet and yummy crunch while the cranberries and feta bring such strong flavors to the plate, yet surprisingly, combine to bring a delicious and desirable taste. The creamy balsamic vinaigrette takes these odd but delicious ingredients and tops it off with such a unique and perfect dressing that makes these flavors and textures work together perfectly.

Ingredients

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Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or on a large plate, lay out spring mix salad. Top with sugar coated pecans, craisins crumbled feta.
  2. You could use a store bought Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette or you can make the recipe above by whisking together garlic, mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard, sugar, Nature's Seasoning, and salt until well combined. Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk well. Slowly add in the olive oil (while whisking).
  3. Pour dressing over prepared salad and enjoy! Refrigerate any leftover dressing.

Enjoy!
(Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe from: My life as a Mrs.

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Comments

  1. 1

    I’m a big fan of this kind of salad, too, but I have no idea what Morton’s Nature dressing is. Is there something else I could use instead of it?

    Thanks!

    Ruth

    • 2
      Chef in Training says:

      It is a combo of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, celery seed, and parsley. You can get it at Walmart or I am sure other grocery stores too.

  2. 3

    Sorry, I MEANT to say Morton’s nature SEASONING, not dressing!

    Ruth

  3. 4

    Yum, Yum, and double yum! I love salad for dinner, and I don’t even feel guilty when it is overflowing off my plate. Salad makes me happy and this one looks and sounds divine! Making it for dinner! Thanks for the great reciepe! Love your blog!

  4. 5

    I love salads too. This one looks awesome Nikki!!! your photos are gorgeous too!

  5. 6

    Anytime a restaurant offers a salad like this, I always snatch it up! I love craisins and pecans on my salad–nothing better! Feta sounds like a nice change from what I usually get, either parm or gorgonzola. This looks delicious!

  6. 7

    I am adding this to my thanksgiving menu. Love for you to link up to our Friday FOod Frenzy recipe party
    http://www.stayingclosetohome.com/2012/10/friday-food-frenzy-halloween-and-fall.html#more

  7. 8

    Do you make your own sugar coated pecans?

    The salad sounds delicious!

    • 9
      Chef in Training says:

      yes I do. I just put 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup pecans into a frying pan and stir on medium heat until the sugar begins to melt and clumps form and stick onto the pecans :)

  8. 10

    Wow Nickki!!! Thank you for sharing Wishing you a beautiful weekend xo

  9. 11

    Nikki! My mom makes a salad similar to this every Christmas. It’s so special and I never get around to making it myself throughout the rest of the year. You’ve successfully tempted me! I love feta cheese and candied pecans together. Plus the craisins, greens, and that dressing!! I think i’m going to eat salad for dinner practically every night this week now.

  10. 12

    Hello!!

    The salad was a huge hit, but I have to say that I made the dressing to the instructions and it was WAY too salty! I would say that the Mortons seasons is plenty of salt without any additional needed. I altered it with some honey and a little more mayo. Other then that, it was great!

  11. 13

    A hit!!! Family really enjoyed this salad. I made the homemade dressing (didn’t have the Morton’s seasoning, just tossed some onion powder, celery seed, etc in). Definitely be keeping this recipe and dressing recipe on our family rotation. Oh, and the candied pecans….yum! Taste just like store bought but better! *followed recipe of 1/2c sugar, 1c pecans over heat*

  12. 14

    Just made the dressing. Tastes awesome! Can’t wait to get to eat it on the salad tomorrow. I’m making it for Thanksgiving!

  13. 15

    I cannot say thank you enough for this amazing recipe. I can’t imagine not making the dressing. It’s easy and probably one of the most amazing dressings I’ve ever tried. Thanks again! (found this on Pinterest)

  14. 16

    I was introduced to this salad by Whole Foods! The only thing theirs has that yours doesn’t is thinly sliced red onion. I usually dislike raw onion but BOY it sure adds a lot to this salad!

  15. 17
    Ellie Pratt says:

    About how many does this feed?

  16. 19

    I’ve mad the dressing a couple of times and therefore have served the salad several times. I love it! My husband who is not a salad eater, loves it! Everyone loves it and such a nice presentation for guests. I wonder if anyone knows how long the dressing will keep in the fridge?

  17. 20

    Make your own Candied Pecans and this salad just got even better. And they are SUPER easy. Oh and they are really good all by themselves, without the salad too.
    http://luckygirlfinds.com/2011/10/03/candy-pecans/

  18. 21

    I thought the dresssing was way too salty. Is 1 1/2 teaspoons correct?

  19. 22

    Trying this salad tonight! Sounds delish! Couldn’t find candied pecans so I replaced with honey roasted almonds (we don’t like pecans anyway). Let’s see how it goes! Thanks for the recipe.

  20. 23

    This recipe is being featured on my blog ( http://www.artistic31mama.com ) in my top favorite salads post. The post as well as the blog hop will go live tomorrow (04-14-13) at 6pm EST. Would love for you to stop by!

    Love your blog! I’m a new follower and your recipes are so delicious! :-) Thanks for all you do!

  21. 24

    could you pass on how to make the sugar coated pecans?

    Are these toasted, etc?

  22. 25

    What is the serving size for this recipe?

  23. 26

    I’ve probably already commented on this salad, but I need to do so again. It’s just so dang GOOD! My husband and I crave this salad a couple times a month (we’d have it more but we hate to tire of it by having it too after!) It’s so easy to make and I love the homemade dressing, it always makes plenty and I even have extra to use on salads throughout the week. And I also made my own
    Candied pecans using your method you suggested to another commenter. So good! Oh yeah, I also buy a roasted chicken (cooked) and top it off with that to make it a full meal. I’m so happy I ran across your blog months ago, so many exvellent recipes!!

  24. 27
    Victoria says:

    This would be amazing with blue cheese crumbles!

  25. 28

    I live overseas with no access to Morton’s nature seasoning….do have an idea of what I could sub? :) thanks!!