In a 6 to 8-inch frying pan over medium heat, stir nuts often until golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour onto a towel and let stand until cool enough to handle. Rub in towel to remove any loose skins. Lift nuts from towel and reserve; discard skins. Coarsely chop nuts.

In a large bowl, whisk vinegar, oil and mustard to blend. Cut pears lengthwise into quarters and core; cut quarters lengthwise into thin slices. Drop slices into bowl and mix to coat with dressing. Add spinach and mix gently. Sprinkle with cheese, raisins and toasted nuts; mix gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



  • 3/4 Cup hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts or pistachios
  • 1/3 Cup sherry or cider vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup nut or salad oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard



  • 3 firm ripe pears
  • 1 Package (10 ounces) prewashed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 Cup crumbled Stilton or Gorgonzola cheese
  • 11/4 Cups California raisins, plumped
  • Salt and pepper

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 56%); Total Fat 18 ( Saturated Fat 3.5; Trans Fat 0; ); Cholesterol 10; Sodium 220; Potassium 429; Total Carbohydrate 26; Dietary Fiber 4; Sugars 21; Protein 5; Calcium 122; Iron 2;

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There are many more ways to use raisins for healthy cooking. Take a look at our recipe page for more delicious dishes.
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Raisins are great food choices for most individuals, including those with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
- by James W. Anderson, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Emeritus, University of Kentucky.