This is a unique salad with a twist instead of being cold and crispy, this recipe calls for very gently wilting the spinach before topping it with the hot caramelized onions, sliced pear and tangy blue cheese. It creates a great option for a warm, healthy salad to enjoy on a chilly evening.
The trick is to only very gently wilt the spinach, leaving it in the pan until it just starts to turn deep green and soften then pulling it from the heat while it still has some structure. You can, of course, keep the spinach crispy if you prefer, and it is equally as delicious. The different sweetnesses of the onions and pear, along with the savory of the cheese and spinach make this salad wonderfully easy and balanced in flavor and texture. Recipe inspired by Kelly Rossiter.

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook time: 40 minutes 

Total time: 55 minutes 

Yield: 4 servings

Pear and Spinach Salad with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1-2 pears, cored and thinly sliced (Bartlett and Bosc are both great options)
  • 1 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • A pinch salt and pepper to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. In a skillet heat the olive oil until it just begins to shimmer. Add onions and cook over a low heat stirring often until onions take on a deep golden colour and begin to caramelize, which could take 20 minutes or so. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Once you have washed the spinach, just leave the water on it and add it to the skillet. Cook until just wilted which only takes a couple of minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and a bit more olive oil if it seems too dry.
  3. Plate the spinach and top with sliced pears, onions and cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.