Spinach salad with maple pecans, apple and blue cheese

Spinach Salad with Maple Pecans, Apple and Blue Cheese

Submitted by: Ellie Krieger, RD

This salad is simple enough to make on a weeknight and will brighten any fall or winter meal, but is beautiful and has a festive feel so it fits in perfectly on a holiday table. The maple pecans are also wonderful packaged as a gift or for snacking, so consider making a big batch of them to keep in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • Maple Pecans:
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan halves (plus 3 tablespoons for dressing, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons pecan oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For assembly:
  • 1/2 sweet red apple, such as Fuji or gala
  • 5 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Method

  1. To make the maple pecans: place the pecan halves and maple syrup in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the syrup is caramelized and the nuts are toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. To make the dressing: whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, shallot, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Whisk in the three tablespoons chopped pecans, if using.
  3. Right before serving: cut the apple into matchsticks. Place the spinach into a large bowl and toss with the dressing until coated. Divide the spinach among 4 serving plates. Evenly distribute apples, blue cheese crumbles and maple pecans as toppings and serve. Makes 6 cups.

Nutrition facts

Calories

290

Fat

23g

Sat Fat

5g

Sodium

410mg

Carbs

17g

Fiber

5g

Protein

3g

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