Salad with Spicy Pecans, Berries, & Goat Cheese-Scallion Dressing

Salad with Spicy Pecans, Berries, & Goat Cheese-Scallion Dressing | Yes to Yolks

Spring has sprung! Finally!

I feel like this blog, which is supposed to be about yummy food and fun recipes, has turned into more of weather-centered site. Sigh. Sorry, guys. It’s just been so nuts in these parts lately, and the weather seems to be everyone’s focus. It’s April and just last week, we had snow. Blah. This week, thankfully, has been in the 50s and 60s with lots of blue skies and warm sun. I’m soaking up every minute…not only because it feels wonderful, but also because I’m terrified the warm weather is going to disappear again!

Salad with Spicy Pecans, Berries, & Goat Cheese-Scallion Dressing | Yes to Yolks

Anywho.

To celebrate the turn in weather, I made a light and healthy salad. It’s a meatless salad, but you could totally add some grilled chicken or steak to this to up the protein. Hardboiled eggs would be a nice addition as well.

I have to count my lucky stars that I’ve had an extremely easy pregnancy so far. I’ve had just a few bouts of nausea here and there, and very few food aversions (woo hoo!). The one thing I find myself eating less of is meat (aside from the INTENSE occasional cheeseburger craving). I don’t know if it’s due to pregnancy hormones or the shift in temperature, but I haven’t really had meat on my radar. I’m much more interested in light, springy foods. Especially fruit. I cannot get enough fruit. I’ve gone through many a fresh pineapple by myself (hence the delicious sorbet I shared on Monday), loads of apples (must be Granny Smith), and tons of kiwi and berries. YUM.

Salad with Spicy Pecans, Berries, & Goat Cheese-Scallion Dressing | Yes to Yolks

So, it doesn’t shock me that I came up with this salad and (1) didn’t include meat, and (2) topped it off with fresh strawberries and blueberries. Lucky for me, the combo totally worked. The spicy nuts and tangy goat cheese bring everything together wonderfully.

Plus, a wonderful thing about salads like this is they are no-cook wonders (OK, you DO have to toast the nuts for like 2 minutes) that come together really fast. Weeknight perfection.

Salad with Spicy Pecans, Berries, & Goat Cheese-Scallion Dressing | Yes to Yolks

If you’re looking for a light and healthy salad alternative, try this one out. It’s simple but packed with flavor. Ideal for celebrating the start of spring!

Salad with Spicy Pecans, Berries, & Goat Cheese-Scallion Dressing | Yes to Yolks

 

 

Salad with Spicy Pecans, Berries, & Goat Cheese-Scallion Dressing   (makes 4 servings)


For the Pecans:

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

1 cup pecan pieces

 

For the Vinaigrette:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons chopped scallions

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

For the Salad:

Mixed greens

1 cup sliced strawberries

½ cup blueberries or raspberries

Crumbled goat cheese (optional)

 

For the Pecans:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Combine the butter, sugar, cayenne, and salt in a small pan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Mixture will be foamy.  Add pecan halves and stir while cooking for 1-2 minutes. Spread pecans out on baking sheet and allow to cool completely.

 

For the Vinaigrette:

In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and blend until completely smooth. Season, to taste with salt and pepper.

 

To Serve:

Toss the greens lightly with the vinaigrette and top with the pecans and berries. Finally, crumble the goat cheese over top. Serve immediately.

 

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