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The Salad to Bring When They Ask You To Bring a Salad

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This recipe for The Salad to Bring When They Ask You to Bring a Salad is the answer to your problem, when you’ve been invited over for a meal.

Just Bring A Salad

You offer to bring “something to go with the meal” when you’ve been invited over for dinner, and the host says, “Oh…just bring a salad”. You want to bring something that will stand out as scrumptious. But you ALSO want to bring something EASY. What to do?

A couple of nights ago, I found your answer!

The Salad to Bring...when they ask you to bring a salad.

The Salad to Bring…when they ask you to bring a salad. Oh, that maple syrup in the vinaigrette!

Spinach And Butter Lettuce Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese

I found the original recipe for this salad on, one of my favorite go-to recipe sites. This particular recipe, listed in their “best of” salads recipe section,  looked fairly simple. It had been given a 5 star rating: but could a salad really be that good, and that easy?

Oh, yeah. It could. I’ve had this salad two nights in a row (three helpings each night)  for dinner, with a simple rotisserie chicken from Costco. But it would go great with MANY types of meats, really.

Serve this at any meal that  needs a salad, and you’ll find your guests coming back for seconds and thirds, like I did.

The Salad to Bring is All About the Balance of Flavors

I think it’s the balance of flavors and the variety of textures that makes it so good. Creaminess, tanginess and saltiness come from the blue cheese. You get crunchiness from the pecans and the crisp salad greens. There’s a touch of spicy heat to the pepper and the shallot in the dressing. There’s acidity in the vinaigrette, as well as a touch of sweetness form the maple syrup in it.  And the craisins are sweet and tart and just a bit chewy, all at the same time.

The Salad to Bring...when they ask you to bring a salad. #salad #potluck #saladrecipe

I’d be purely grateful if you’d share this post with your friends, or pin this ready-made pin on Pinterest!

How Hard is it to Make”The Salad To Bring”?

The only real chopping I did (which is the thing that tends to put me off when it comes to salad making) was chopping the pecans after I roasted them (which took about 1 minute) and the shallot for the vinaigrette (which also took about 1 minute). The rest was simply throwing in the proper amount of ingredients and tossing it around with the vinaigrette.

The original recipe on the website called for endive. I didn’t have any, and I don’t tend to buy it, but I did have a couple of heads of butter lettuce, and a great big bucket of spinach, so that’s one way I altered and adapted this recipe.

But What If I Don’t Have Any Craisins?

The first night I made it, I didn’t have any craisins, so I substituted strawberries. They were good, and lent their own charm, but I found I preferred the more concentrated intense flavor of the craisins. (Next time I may try dried cherries, because I’m a huge cherry fan.)

Edited to Add: I’m adding this paragraph to update that I actually PREFER dried cherries, over the craisins called for in the original recipe. I love their tang, and their intensity.

About the Pecans I Used in “The Salad to Bring”:

Let’s talk about where to get some extraordinarily delicious pecans. I’ve recently begun a partnership with the Millican Pecan Company, the home of the MOTHER Pecan Orchard,  in San Saba, TX. They are a 5 generation farm family! Their orchard pioneered the pecan industry in San Saba, back  in 1888. I LOVE their pecans, and they don’t JUST sell pecans. I heartily endorse their Sweet and Spicy pecans, that go great on a salad, or are delicious as an appetizer. If you’d like to order their VERY reasonably priced pecans, or any of their pecan treats from them, please use my coupon code: SUSAW100

Millican Pecan Halves

Millican Pecans have been featured on Martha Stewart, Food Network, Southern Living, and bon appetit.

To toast the pecans: spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350º for about 5 minutes. When you just begin to smell them, you’ll know they’re done. Unless you have a cold or a stopped up nose or no sense of smell.

But What If I Hate Blue Cheese? (Or Bleu Cheese?)

First: you’re not alone. Both my kids hate it too. Heathens.

Second: I occasionally substitute  feta in honor of them, and feta works just fine.

The Recipe for The Salad to Bring (when they ask you to bring a salad):

Yield: 6-8 servings

The Salad to Bring When They Ask You To Bring a Salad

The Salad to Bring When They Ask You To Bring a Salad

The Salad to Bring When They Ask You To Bring A Salad really IS the salad to bring to a dinner that friends are throwing....or to a dinner at your own house. The flavors and textures are well balanced and unforgettably delicious!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (approximately 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads of Butter Lettuce (Romaine would be fine, too)
  • 10 oz. spinach
  • 1 c. pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 c. dried cherries (or craisins)
  • 1/3 c. crumbled blue cheese


  1. Whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  2. Toss salad greens in a large bowl with vinaigrette, and sprinkle with nuts, dried fruit, and blue cheese.


I like dried, tart sweet cherries. You'll find a link below, where you can order them online.

For maple syrup, I also recommend Grade A Dark. (This used to be called Grade B.) Again, you'll find a link below.

I've also included a link to an acrylic salad bowl, that should help make transporting your beautiful salad a little more worry free.

If you might like to try this (and all my friends seem to love it!!!) pin it on Pinterest. You are welcome to share it with your friends on Facebook, or  tweet about it on Twitter as well.
The Salad to Bring When They Ask You To Bring A Salad is the answer to the question, "What kind of salad should I bring to this dinner?"

The Salad to Bring When They Ask You To Bring A Salad is the answer to the question, “What kind of salad should I bring to this dinner?”

And just in case you need some other ideas….

Some Other Ideas For Something to Take Along to that Dinner:

If not a salad, how about an appetizer? Or a side dish? Or a dessert? I've got you covered!!!


Edit or replace


You owe it to yourself to make this as soon as possible. Good, and good for you!

Chef Potpie (Laurel)

Wednesday 14th of February 2024

This was a lovely salad. Lots of complimentary ingredients and it's appetizing prettiness can not be denied! I look forward to being asked to bring a salad to our next get-together! I also used the dried cherries instead of the cranberries, but either one will be very tasty. Thanks for this keeper recipe!


Wednesday 12th of July 2023

I'd like to take this to a church picnic this weekend, but know that some people are put off about blue cheese. What other crumbly cheese would you recommend? Feta? Other?

Susan Williams

Friday 21st of July 2023

Yes, I believe I mentioned feta in the blog post as being a relatively close substitute. Another salad I have found to be a hit at church picnics is my Aztec Salad.


Wednesday 15th of February 2023

Are the quantities for the vinaigrette listed as T a teaspoon or tablespoon? I want to get it right. Sounds delicious.

Susan Williams

Monday 20th of February 2023

I used to write recipe abbreviations with 1 T. standing for 1 Tablespoon, and 1 t. standing for one 1 teaspoon. I'll go edit this for clarity. Thanks for your comment, Denise.


Tuesday 3rd of January 2023

I've made this salad many times, substituting ingredients where needed (e.g red onion for shallots, walnuts for pecans, feta for blue cheese etc). It's delicious every time! Quick, easy and forgiving, definitely a 5 star recipe!


Friday 23rd of December 2022

Love this salad. The only down side though, is now I’m the one that always gets the assignment to begin “ my salad “. I’d much rather be the one that only has to bring the chips or drinks. I’ve told them all that it’s on Pinterest too. So needless to say I always double the dressing recipe so I have plenty on hand. It’s always been fine in my refrigerator for 2+ weeks.

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