Baby Spinach Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts, Pear, and Parmesan

I’m sort of a salad freak. I’ll put pretty much anything in a salad, and I rarely make exactly the same salad twice. Here’s a new one that I just love.


I love the mild flavor of baby spinach as well as the simplicity of using it- there is no chopping required. And as far as spinach nutrition goes, it’s quite high in antioxidants (lutein is one that is often mentioned), B vitamins, and minerals including calcium, potassium, and zinc.

In this salad, I combined the spinach with parsley because I love its nutritional profile (it is also very high in minerals as well as vitamin C), as well as it’s characteristic fresh taste. Toasted hazelnuts add depth and crunch, the pear adds a little sweetness, and the shaved parmesan lends it’s salty richness.

I strongly recommend using Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese here (it’s pretty expensive but a little goes a long way), but any hard Italian cheese will work. I like this dressed with just a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon; feel free to use your favorite healthy vinaigrette recipe, if you prefer.


Baby Spinach Salad Recipe
Serves 2-4


7 cups baby spinach (more or less), preferably organic
1 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage-optional
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted in a 350°F oven for appox. 5 minutes
1 pear, shaved with a vegetable peeler
approx. 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings (I use a vegetable peeler for this)
Good olive oil and fresh lemon juice or your favorite healthy vinaigrette dressing
Course sea salt and fresh ground pepper- to taste


Mix all ingredients in a medium-large bowl. Compose salad on plates and drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice or your favorite vinaigrette. Sprinkle with a little course sea salt and fresh ground pepper if you like.


whblogoThis spinach salad recipe is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging.

WHB was founded by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and it is currently managed by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything.
Maninas is the host this week!

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12 thoughts on “Baby Spinach Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts, Pear, and Parmesan”

  1. This looks wonderful. I have the same adventurous attitude toward salad ingredients, and made one with seasonal spinach, sweet potatoes, avocado, toasted pecan, and gorgonzola in a citrus-yogurt dressing earlier this week.

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  3. winnie, i so do love your photos- theyre pastel-esque and so bright. each and every one of them. i agree with you- parmiggiano-reggiano is the cheese to use, even though very dear. grana padano (similar process and flavour, but made under different regulations) would be at a lower price point, in case anyone is interested to know :) i love the addition of red cabbage, it probably gives it that delicious crunch. best wishes, winnie. shayma

    • Thanks for your helpful comments re: the cheese and for the photo feedback Shayma…I am having lots of fun taking the pics!

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  5. What a gorgeous salad, Winnie! Just love that overhead shot. Baby spinach is one of my faves and I love everything else you added, too. Some crunch, some sweet, some tart, some richness … all so good. Will make something like this tomorrow. Feeling the need for more greens the next few days. :-)


  6. Looks delish! I was at the market today…NO fresh spinach leaves. I hate it when that happens, especially when there’s a recipe like this I could’ve tried! Oh well, better luck next time. :) gorgeous photo btw!