Heather’s Smoked Gouda, Pecan, and Cherry Salad with Green Onion Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

I find that I don’t talk much about my non-food life here on this blog. I do spend my time in ways other than grocery shopping, cooking, baking, eating, and food blogging. Like going to school, for instance. But only for 7 more months! In December I’ll be graduating from nursing school and become an RN! That part of my life is also busy and somewhat more interesting than what I eat. But sometimes nursing and food don’t mix so well. It can be unappetizing. Luckily, I’ve grown accustomed to it. Nothing tastes as good on a hospital floor scarfed down in the 15 seconds between a soiled bed change and catheter insertion. But when I get home I can down a plate of pasta while simultaneously describing the sacral ulcer debridement I saw in the OR that day. My husband (who spends his life in people’s mouths- which I find much grosser) doesn’t appreciate my stories during dinner so much. And it would be counterproductive if you, my readers, left here nauseous rather than salivating.

So I stick to the food. And throw in tidbits here and there about what else I do. My summer semester started last week and tomorrow is my first day back in the hospital. I get to survive my first 12-hours shifts in the STICU (surgery trauma intensive care unit) and the rest of my hours will be back on L&D (labor and delivery). I won’t be delivering any babies this time around but rather shadowing a nurse clinician/manager for a leadership class. No matter. L&D is my only love so far and I’m thrilled to be back on that floor in any form (except as a patient- I’m not quite ready for that yet)!

Oh, yes, about this salad. It’s awesome. My friend Heather shared the recipe with me, which I believe she got from her mom. I could go on and on about how good it is, so just believe me. This unique vinaigrette features green onion and pretty poppy seeds. I reduced the sugar by half from the original recipe and it is still very sweet.

Heather’s Smoked Gouda, Pecan, and Cherry Salad with Green Onion Poppy Seed Vinaigrette


spring mix + spinach
pecans, whole or chopped
dried sweetened cherries
red onion, thinly sliced
smoked Gouda, grated

Green Onion Poppy Seed Vinaigrette:
1 whole green onion, ends removed
2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/6 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds


1. In a blender or food processor, puree onion with sugar, mustard, salt, and red wine vinegar. With the motor running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Add the poppy seeds and pulse to combine.

2. Toss spring mix and spinach and top with pecans, cherries, onion, and cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

Makes about 3/4 cup of vinaigrette.

(Recipe courtesy of Heather Sedwick)

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