This is my favorite salad. Every time I make it I remember how much I love the flavors of the salty bacon, the fresh crisp pears, the sweet walnuts, and the creamy cheese mixed together. I first tasted a salad like this at a little cafe in Bountiful, Utah called Plates & Palates (side note this cafe has the BEST salads!). My old company used to order this salad and others for lunches all the time. Once we moved I was craving it and needed to recreate it—they used pecans but I always seem to have walnut on hand for baking so I use those instead. Once candied it’s hard to taste a difference. Here’s how I make it:
Start off by cooking the bacon. While it’s in the oven, candy the walnuts on the stovetop. Once these are both ready, set aside to cool. Once cooled to room temperature, assemble salad. Throw cleaned spinach into a large bowl. Crumble or cut bacon and sprinkle into salad. Chop candied walnuts and sprinkle over salad. Dice pears and sprinkle over salad, and top with crumbled feta or gorgonzola.
Dress with poppyseed dressing right before serving! Enjoy!! The flavors are so yummy together.