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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Spinach-Apple Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

I made a salad for Christmas dinner from the December Southern Living Magazine. It was really good so I thought I'd share it with you! You can make the pecans and vinaigrette ahead of time too!

Sugared Curried Pecans
1 (6 oz.) pkg pecan halves
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

1 (10 oz.) pkg. fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
1 Gala apple, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 (4 oz.) pkg. crumbled goat cheese (I used Feta instead)
  1. Prepare Pecans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 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 to 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.
  4. 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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