Mesclun Salad with Glazed Pecans

An elegant salad for entertaining.
Photos courtesy of

By Jennifer Segal

Metrocurean contributor, Once Upon a Chef

This salad is perfect for entertaining and always gets rave reviews. The glazed pecans and goat cheese dress it up, and the vinaigrette is one of those salty-sweet-tangy flavor combinations that everyone loves. The best part is that you can do most of it ahead of time. The dressing will keep for a few days in the fridge and the glazed pecans can be stored in an air-tight container for up to one week.

Mesclun Salad With Goat Cheese, Maple-Glazed Pecans and Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

adapted from The Washington Post

serves 6

for the pecans

1 cup (4 ounces) pecan halves

2 tablespoons organic maple syrup

pinch of salt

for the vinaigrette

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ tablespoons organic maple syrup

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as corn or canola

for the salad

10 cups mesclun greens (or favorite mixed greens such as green or red leaf, boston, bibb, or romaine)

3 ounces goat cheese (or blue cheese), crumbled

to make the pecans

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil or line two baking sheets with
parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the pecans and maple syrup and
toss gently to combine. Spread the pecans in a single layer on one of
the prepared baking sheets. Roast in the preheated oven, stirring once,
until the syrup is bubbling vigorously, about 5 minutes. Immediately
scrape the glazed pecans onto the other prepared baking sheet, spreading
them in a single layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and set aside to

to make the vinaigrette

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, shallots, salt, pepper, maple
syrup, mustard and vinegar. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a
steady stream. (Alternatively, add all your ingredients to a jar, cover
with a lid, and shake vigorously to blend.) Set aside.

to assemble the salad

Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette
and toss to combine. Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired
and toss again. Divide among individual plates, sprinkle with the
cheese and pecans and serve immediately.

Jennifer Segal is the founder and publisher of Once Upon a Chef,
a cooking blog featuring easy and elegant recipes. Before launching
her blog, Jennifer earned her culinary stripes working front and back
of the house at some of DC's top fine dining restaurants, including L'Auberge Chez Francois, Sam & Harry's and The Caucus Room.

She has also done private catering and restaurant public relations.
Jennifer is a graduate of the professional Culinary Arts Program at
L'Academie de Cuisine.