Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Place all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar, seal the lid, and shake until completely combined. Drizzle over the salad, toss, and serve immediately.
I used a 5-ounce container of baby spinach leaves here, but you can increase the amount of spinach (and other toppings) to accommodate the size of your group.
If you like a lot of dressing, or if you're doubling or tripling the salad ingredients to serve a larger crowd, you can easily double or triple the dressing ingredients as well.
Prepare the dressing in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving, and whisk or shake at the last minute to combine.
Add sliced pear to the salad.
Substitute fresh pomegranate seeds in lieu of the cranberries.
Use goat cheese or blue cheese instead of the feta cheese.
Swap out the pecans and use chopped walnuts or slivered almonds instead.
Prep ahead! Make sure that you allow enough time to cook and cool the bacon, and to toast and cool the nuts before assembling the salad. For a shortcut, you can purchase pre-cooked bacon at the grocery store. To quickly “toast” nuts in the microwave, place nuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, just until golden brown and fragrant (this usually takes a total of about 1 minute).
Make it a meal! Add some rotisserie or other cooked chicken to the salad and serve it as a light entree. The salad is delicious paired with corn muffins or warm bread.