Saturday, January 19, 2013

Spinach salad with apples, candied pecans and honey dijon vinaigrette

Nothing beats a fresh salad for lunch! I love fresh spinach, but don't like the stems, so I usually cut them off then do a rough chop of the leaves. Romaine or butter lettuce also works well. I also mix the salad with my hands to not "bruise" the lettuce.  My mom always insisted on this and it blends the vinaigrette much better than salad forks.  This salad is made from start to finish in about 10 minutes.

For Salad
2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 handful of candied pecans or walnuts
1 gala apple, peeled and sliced (sprinkle lemon juice on them to keep from browning)
1 tbs goat cheese

For Vinaigrette
2 tbs dijon mustard (my fave is Maille brand)
1 tsp honey
1 tbs champagne vinegar, or lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 shallot, diced or 1 chopped garlic clove
fresh chopped tarragon and chives
Assemble the salad and to make the vinaigrette, whisk shallot, herbs, honey and dijon with vinegar

slowly whisk in the olive oil while vigorously whisking it to emulsify and thicken the vinaigrette.

If you add the oil too quickly, it will take longer to thicken the vinaigrette, so slow and steady wins the race here. You will never want to buy store bought vinaigrette again!  Lasts in the fridge about 4 days.

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