Spinach Salad with Smoked Chicken, Apple, Walnuts, and Bacon
Celebrate autumn's apple season with this delicious and substantial salad. We call for the thick-sliced, smoked chicken now available in the meat department of supermarkets. Of course, you can always use smoked turkey from the deli counter instead. If you like a more pronounced sweet-and-sour flavor, use another teaspoon of vinegar.
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 pound sliced bacon
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup cooking oil
- 2/3 pound smoked and sliced boneless chicken breast
- 1 pound spinach, stems removed, leaves washed (about 9 cups)
- 1 small red onion, chopped fine
- 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1. Heat the oven to 350°. Toast the walnuts until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
- 2. In a large frying pan, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and then crumble it.
- 3. In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the oil.
- 4. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the dressing with the chicken. Let sit for about 5 minutes so that the chicken absorbs the dressing. Add the walnuts, bacon, spinach, onion, apple, and the remaining dressing and toss.
- Menu Suggestions: Hot garlic bread, served either plain or with a little Parmesan cheese, goes well with all the flavors here.
- Wine Recommendation: This substantial fall salad, with its hearty flavors, will taste great with a Beaujolais or, for something off the beaten path, a fruity pinotage from South Africa. In either case, chill the bottle for fifteen minutes or so before serving.
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