Harvest Salad with Maple Walnut Vinaigrette

Record-breaking highs in February, followed by snow in March? What strange weather we are having! Either way, spring is approaching, and soon the farmers markets will shed their winter squashes and bring out the baby greens. This salad recipe is a great one for this transition time of year.  The dressing is sweet yet savory and goes perfectly with a variety of salad fixings. Feeling bold? Try it as a breakfast salad!

Ingredients for dressing

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients except the oils in a food processor. Blend until well combined and walnuts are pureed. With food processor running, pour olive oil in a slow steady stream through the feed tube. (If the dressing is thicker than you like, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until it’s the desired consistency.) Transfer to jar or other airtight container and chill in fridge.

Note: This can also be made in a blender.

Ingredients for salad

  • 5 oz. (12 cups) fresh salad greens (spring mix and baby spinach are good combination)
  • 1/3 c. toasted pepitas*
  • 1-2 pears, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 c. chopped dried figs

Put greens in large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss until greens are well coated. Add pears, figs, and pepitas and lightly toss.


  • Substitute apples for pears.
  • Substitute sunflower seeds, walnuts, or pecans for pepitas.
  • Add blue, Gorgonzola, or goat cheese.
  • Add caramelized onion
  • Substitute another dried fruit for the figs (cranberries, blueberries, cherries)
  • Top with grilled chicken and/or crumbled bacon.

*To toast pepitas, spread in a single layer on baking sheet, lightly spray with canola spray, sprinkle with kosher salt, bake at 350 degrees for 10 min, or until golden.


JULIE JOHNSON, Holistic Health Coach, helps clients reach wellness goals through nutrition and life balance. She offers individual coaching or group coaching sessions that support health through whole food nutrition. Clients will receive guidance, recipes, and cooking sessions to make sustainable lifestyle changes. For a free consultation, visit Julie Johnson Health Coach.