Grilled Chicken, Spinach and Pear Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

We wanted to make a light and refreshing side salad to go with a beef dish one night and I liked the sound of this one.  After our guests arrived, and we plied them with hummus and chips before dinner, the told us to save the salad for another night.  So, instead of a side salad I added chicken to this recipe and it was still, light, cool, flavorful and crisp – and just perfect for a hot summer’s night.  We paired it with French bread dipped in toasted sesame oil and balsamic vinegar, and vodka martinis made with a splash or Ventura Company Orangecello liqueur:


  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pears, cored and sliced lengthwise (I used three, and I peeled them first.)
  • 8 cups torn fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup red onion , thinly sliced
  • 4 thin chicken breasts (My addition)
  • Hawaiian marinade (My addition)


1A. Marinade chicken in a Ziploc bag for a couple of hours.  I chose the Hawaiian flavor as pineapple and pears sounded good to me.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Prepare salad – steps 1-3 – while chicken cools)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, orange juice, olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. 

2. In large bowl, add the pear slices and 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss to coat.

3. Add remaining dressing, spinach and onion and toss to coat.

4. After chicken has cooled, cut into strips with kitchen scissors and place on salad.  Stir all together again.
Serves 4.