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Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto Photo by: Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

Candied Pecan, Pear, and Spinach Salad

A little corn syrup is the secret to keeping the candied nuts in this salad from crystallizing. (And they make a great quick appetizer or gift from your kitchen too.)

Sunset DECEMBER 2010

  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Total:30 Minutes


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 3 tablespoons roasted pecan oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 2 medium firm-ripe pears, thinly sliced


1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 tsp. each salt and cardamom, the cayenne, and cloves. Stir in nuts. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2. Bake, stirring once in a while with a fork, until syrup is deep golden, about 15 minutes. Stir again, then transfer nuts on paper to a work surface. Let nuts cool, breaking them up after 5 minutes.

3. Whisk oil, vinegar, pepper, shallot, and remaining 1/4 tsp. each salt and cardamom in a large bowl. Gently toss with spinach, pears, and nuts. Serve immediately.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 261
  • Calories from fat: 64%
  • Protein: 2.7g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrate: 25g
  • Fiber: 5.2g
  • Sodium: 259mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

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Candied Pecan, Pear, and Spinach Salad recipe