Adding smoked pecans to this salad is a healthier way to add bacon-like flavor to the dish because pecans are low in saturated fats, nutrient rich, and full of heart-healthy oils. You can substitute store-bought smoked almonds if you don’t have time to smoke the nuts yourself. Goat cheese is a soft, fresh cheese that adds creaminess with a tangy kick. Crumbling goat cheese can be tricky because it is so soft. A trick? Chill the log until it’s very cold, then pinch off small pieces with your fingers.
1 small red onion, cut cross-wise into 1/2-in.-thick slices
Heat a grill pan over high; coat with cooking spray. Grill onion slices, turning occasionally, until charred and very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Place in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and let stand 5 minutes.
Whisk together Smoked and Spiced Pecans, oil, vinegar, Dijon, and pepper in a large bowl. Add spinach and onions; toss to coat. Divide among 6 plates. Top evenly with goat cheese.
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