Feel free to use the salad recipe as a framework, altering the proportions as desired. You may also substitute an apple for the pear or your favorite nuts for the seeds, depending on what you have on hand. I like an extra hearty sprinkle of salted sunflower seeds!
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar; plain white vinegar may be used)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup salad oil (olive, avocado, grapeseed, and canola oil, all work well)
6 ounces baby spinach or mixed greens of choice
1 pear, cored and chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds and/or pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Mix all the dressing ingredients in blender until thick and well blended, about a minute.
Store in the refrigerator.
Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl (or plate individually), drizzle with the dressing, and toss to combine.
I have also mixed a batch with a whisk after mincing the onions. This is a fine option if you do not have a blender.
The dressing will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. The recipe may be cut in half, if desired.
I find the dressing well suited for a basic spinach and strawberry salad and almost anything with fruit, nuts, and cheese. The slight sweetness is also a welcome contrast to bitter greens and vegetables such as broccoli and radishes.