Made this salad recipe for book club, and people asked for seconds. Excellent year-round salad option, with light but flavorful dressing. The candied/baked pecans add a flavorful touch, not too much curry or ginger, but a nice complexity of spices balancing the base ingredients. I added a little blue cheese to the cheese mix, rather than just goat cheese, which I would do again. Great do-ahead salad, baking pecans and mixing dressing in advance and just tossing before serving. Quick, easy yet sophisticated enough to take to a dinner party.
Spinach-Apple Salad With Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
Photo: Beau Gustafson; Styling: Sissy Lamberton
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Total: 50 Minutes
- Sugared Curried Pecans
- 1 (6-oz.) package pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 (10-oz.) package fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
- 1 Gala apple, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 (4-oz.) package crumbled goat cheese
- 1. Prepare Pecans: Preheat oven to 350°. Toss pecans in butter. Stir together sugar and next 4 ingredients in a bowl; add pecans, tossing to coat. Spread in a single layer in a nonstick aluminum foil-lined pan. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes; separate pecans with a fork.
- 2. Prepare Vinaigrette: Whisk together cider vinegar and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk in oil until well blended.
- 3. Prepare Salad: Combine spinach and next 3 ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of Maple-Cider Vinaigrette; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pecans. Serve salad with any remaining vinaigrette.
- Note: Pecans may be made up to 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container. Vinaigrette may be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
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