Baby Spinach Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts, Pear, and Parmesan

March 8, 2010

Author Notes: I love the mild flavor of baby spinach as well as the simplicity of using it- there is no chopping required.
In this salad, I combined the spinach with parsley because I love its nutritional profile (it is 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 good olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon; feel free to use your favorite healthy vinaigrette recipe, if you prefer.

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 organic pear, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • approx. 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings (I use a vegetable peeler for this)
  • your best olive oil and fresh lemon juice
  • coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper- to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Mix all ingredients (except cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper) in a medium-large bowl.
  2. Compose salad on plates and arrange shaved parmesan on top. Drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle with a little course sea salt and fresh ground pepper if you like.

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Salad|Lemon Juice|Parmesan|Spinach|Vegetable|Vegetarian|Gluten-Free