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


  • For Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (approximately 2 T.)
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • For Salad:
  • 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!


  1. uberkelly says

    haha this is the perfect article for me. My friend said to "bring a salad" so I googled it and came here. Thanks!

  2. Nancy Sharp says

    How many people does this salad serve

  3. Millican Pecan says

    Love the title of this recipe! The description and pictures sound and look delicious! Definitely will be trying this. I'm not a blue cheese fan (much to my parents dismay…they were huge fans) so I might try goat cheese.

  4. This looks so good! Do you use this vinaigrette for any other recipes?

  5. Thanks for sharing! Does the vinaigrette keep long?

    • Susan Williams says

      Honestly, I don’t know Vanessa. I’d say a week or two. I usually use it up quickly, because it’s so delicious. I’ll try and take note, the next time I make it, and if I have any further feedback for you, I’ll get back with you!

  6. Chris Tufano says

    The recipe doesnt load anymore? Just a ton of ads 🙁

    • Susan Williams says

      Dear Chris,
      Thank you SO MUCH for letting me know.
      I didn’t realize that recipe wasn’t showing up!
      Thanks to you, I got the help I needed to take care of it.
      I hope you’ll come back to see it!

  7. If you make this the day before, I assume you would wait to add the dressing until right before serving or serve it on the side?

    • Susan Williams says

      Absolutely, Lynn. I always add my dressing immediately before I serve a salad, because, as you know, it quickly wilts the greens. I’d also add the nuts at the end; I’d think they’d be less crunchy if you refrigerate them with the greens.

  8. This looks so good! Does the dressing keep long?

    • Susan Williams says

      Yes, I find I can usually keep a homemade vinaigrette at least a week, and maybe two, depending on whether or not it has garlic in it.

  9. Thanks for sharing! I love that it has ingredients that you can keep hanging out in your cupboards so you can throw it together quickly!

  10. Looks yummy! Is there anything I can substitute maple syrup with? I know it won’t be the same but I don’t have any and with Covid19 I am not going out for wants… Thanks!

    • Susan Williams says

      Well, let’s see, Sarah. If you have any agave nectar, use that. But I’m guessing not. Honey would work. Even some sugar dissolved in an equal amount of water (like a syrup). You want a note of sweetness. Brown sugar would give more depth of flavor than white sugar. I hope that helps!!!

  11. Why can’t I print the recipes? I’d love to make the salad, however………

  12. Tired of the forced quarantine, I have had close friends over for (socially distanced!) dinner three times in the past two weeks, and each time I’ve served this salad (substituting FRESH cherries since they’ve been in season, and delicious! — cut in half and pit removed, of course .. for the craisins). Each time, all have RAVED about it, and all have asked for the recipe. While I’m reluctant to share it, figuring that now it’s one of “my” signature salads, I couldn’t resist. There will be quite a few new people coming to your website, Susan Williams!

  13. I would think dried cranberries would work as well, what do you think? Thanks for the recipe, looks really good ,

    • Susan Williams says

      Absolutely, Jane! I like the tartness and tanginess of the dried cherries: they’re a little more intense to me than Craisins, but whatever floats YOUR flavor boat.

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