Spinach Pear Salad from Restaurateur, Tom Douglas

"This salad is perfect. AND the curried cashews make outstanding appetizers, garnishes, snacks or gifts; the honey-sesame dressing can be used on any number of salads. The contrast of colors, flavors and textures is inspired. Tom Douglas is chef and owner of 4 Seattle eateries and this salad has been on his menu."
photo by Geema photo by Geema
photo by Geema
Ready In:




  • Curried Cashews: Preheat oven to 400°; toast cashews on baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until golden; combine remaining ingredients; add hot cashews, toss until coated; set aside to cool.
  • Honey-Sesame Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients and whisk until emulsified.
  • Salad: Cut bacon into 1/2" pieces and cook until crisp.
  • Put greens, onions and sliced pears in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat everything well.
  • Place salad on six plates; sprinkle each with bacon and curried cashews; garnish with cluster of grapes placed at the side of each plate.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Loved it! My husband doesn't usually like Spinach salad, but he had two servings of this one. I actually omitted the bacon and added a few cubes of cambozola cheese. It was a nice addition with the pear. The dressing is to die for and I will be using it for other salads more often!
  2. I don't know where I found the recipe I use for this salad. Mine is the exact same except for the amounts of lettuce and fruit. This is delicious!! I took this to a friend's home for dinner and put the dressing, nuts and bacon in separate containers to mix just prior to serving. I sub apple cider vinegar, since that's usually on hand. I have substituted horseradish mustard for the Dijon with good effect as well. Think I might try adding some julienned Swiss cheese and chicken for a complete meal. This is yummy.
  3. WOW!! When I saw Geema's review of this salad I HAD to try it and we were not dissappointed. WE LOVED IT!!! I did use bacon and I think it's a must for an added dimension. I couldn't come up with slab bacon so I bought the thickest cut I could find. We're thinkin' this salad is getting served the next time we host our gourmet dinner club. Thanks so much for sharing.
  4. Wonderful salad! I think the seasoned nuts make it outstanding, although I used pecans. I'm sure it's wonderful as is, but for my own reference, I made these substitutions: apples, not pears. Regular yellow mustard, no rosemary on the nuts, no frisee.
  5. I only put 3 TEAspoons of mustard in the dressing and it was enough. Instead of the spinach I use kale finely chopped and couscous. Delicious.


  1. I only put 3 TEAspoons of mustard in the dressing and it was enough. Instead of the spinach I use kale finely chopped and couscous. Delicious.
  2. Super yummy! Used pecans instead of cashews and they were delicious.
  3. Wow!! My family raved over this great salad!! I had to substitute a few ingredients due to the lack of availability. I used cider vinegar instead of white wine and regular mustard instead of dijon, and increased the amount of honey. It was a great salad and everyone loved it! Thanks for the recipe! It will be made often!!!
  4. Loved this! I cut the dijon down to 2 tablespoons (personal preference), and used rice wine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar, but otherwise made as directed. I'll make the salad again for sure, and probably the curried nuts will be made on their own many times as well.


I’m a former interior designer and landscape designer. At the moment I get to enjoy being at home and working only when I want to. I like rollerblading, hiking, backpacking and trips to the ocean. I grew up on a farm in the Midwest and moved to the Northwest when I was thirty, over twenty years ago. I’m afraid they’ll have to bury me here in WA. This is God’s country and I’m never leaving. I have a smallish collection of cookbooks, preferring to use the library and a copy machine. Among my favorites though, are: Recipes 1-2-3, by Rozanne Gold, a collection of recipes containing no more than 3 ingredients (excepting water, salt and pepper); A Treasury of Great Recipes, by Mary and Vincent Price, recipes collected from friends and chefs of great restaurants around the world; The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, by Nancy Harmon Jenkins, about a collection of cuisines I’m convinced are the healthiest in the world and The Low-Calorie Gourmet, by Pierre Franey. Currently my passions are our dogs, the garden, cooking, the natural world and of course, Dh. I can now add Zaar to that list of passions (translate: addiction). We have three dogs, two rescued and one adopted. They are Sugarpea, a Golden Retriever, Chickpea, a Llasa Apso and Sweetpea, a Shih Tzu; small, medium and large. We’re quite a sight out on the trail. One of the things I am most fond of about living here is the ability to vegetable garden year ‘round.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes