Spring Lettuces with Candied Walnuts, Dried Cherries & Pecorino

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins


1/3cup dried cherries
1/2cup California walnuts, in large pieces or halves
1tablespoon sugar
1/2teaspoon salt
1tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
3tablespoons finely chopped shallot (may be substituted for the white tips of a green onion)
1/3cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4teaspoon pepper
4large handfuls (8-10 cups) mixed greens, such as spring salad mix
-- Shavings of Pecorino cheese (may be substituted with Parmesan cheese)*


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Fill a medium saucepan half full with water and bring to a boil.  Put the dried cherries in a small bowl and pour about 1/2 cup of the boiling water over them.   Let cherries stand a few minutes to soften, then drain and pat the cherries dry with paper towels.
  2. Meanwhile, drop the walnuts into the remaining boiling water in the pan and boil for one minute.  Drain in a colander, then spread the nuts on paper towels and pat them dry.  While the nuts are still warm, transfer to a small baking pan, sprinkle with the sugar and a pinch of salt and stir to coat.   Toast the nuts in the preheated oven for 7 – 10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Cool before using.
  3. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and shallot, then slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly.  Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Alternately, combine the ingredients in a tightly capped jar and shake vigorously. 
  4. To assemble the salad, in a large bowl toss the lettuce with the cherries (cut the cherries in half if desired).  Add the vinaigrette and toss briefly to coat the greens.  Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the walnuts and toss once or twice to combine.  Shave thin strips of Pecorino cheese over the top of the salad for garnish, and serve.   

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Peter McNee of Poggio Trattoria for the Walnut Marketing Board

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 320
  • Glycemic Load 2
  • Fat 27g
  • Saturated Fat 3.5g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 16g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 300mg
  • Potassium 230mg
  • Carbohydrate 17g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Sugars 10g
  • Protein 3g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Vitamin A 30%
  • Vitamin C 10%
  • Calcium 8%
  • Iron 8%