The Balsamic-Poppy Seed Dressing has a pleasant tanginess that is a nice change of pace from the usual super sweet poppy seed dressings, plus it balances the sweetness of the dried cherries and pears. I dress the salad very lightly and offer more of the dressing for guests to add at the table if they wish.


  • 3 romaine hearts, chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 2 small Red Bartlett pears, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Balsamic-Poppy Seed Dressing


  1. Combine the lettuce, pears, cherries, pecans, bacon, feta, and parsley on a large platter or in a large bowl. Serve with Balsamic-Poppy Seed Dressing.

Tip: Have you ever noticed that when you toss a salad all the good stuff (in this case the fruit, nuts, cheese and bacon) goes to the bottom of the bowl? I like to toss the chopped lettuce with the dressing and then add the ingredients on top. It's really pretty that way and it ensures that everyone gets a little of everything on their salad plate. This salad is pretty enough to bring to the table to serve.

Yield: 6 servings

Martina McBride's Around The Table
William Morrow Cookbooks

Many thanks to country superstar Martina McBride for sharing this recipe from her new cookbook, Around the Table! 

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