Spinach Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese and Cranberries

Things have been slightly hectic around my house with all the people and presents and never-ending stream of family (Eric’s and mine) gatherings. But, I seem to have found myself in a rare moment of quiet.

There are currently seven of us packed into the family room watching some random movie and everyone seems just interested enough to say quite. It’s a holiday miracle.

I just wanted to share with you the salad recipe that I made for my families holiday party last week. It is a perfect winter salad that is nice and easy. Even for the holiday exhausted.

I wouldn’t want to tucker you out before the big event on Friday.

Love and Beer Floats

1 medium red onion
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Citrus Dressing, recipe follows
8 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (I candied mine on the stove with a little olive oil, sugar, cinimmon and nutmeg)
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the onion into thin wedges, through the root end. Toss with the olive oil, season with salt, to taste, and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast until just soft and brown, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Put the spinach and onions in a large bowl. Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss. Add more dressing as needed; spinach should just be lightly coated. Divide salad among 4 chilled plates. Top with pecans, goat cheese, and dried cranberries. Serve immediately.

Citrus Dressing:
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice, Dijon, honey, thyme, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Graduallywhisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a smooth, slightly thick dressing.