This "Spinach Apple Salad" has just a few ingredients, but packs a big flavor, because it has sugared curry pecans, goat cheese and a homemade Maple Cider Vinaigrette dressing. This salad is also great for just about any occasion, whether it's a holiday dinner, special occasion meal, or a church or neighborhood potluck! You can prepare this ahead of time and dress it right before eating also! Here is what you will need:
6 oz. pecan halves
2 Tbs. butter, melted
3 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
10 oz. pkg. baby spinach, washed well
1 Gala apple, cored and sliced thin (or any red apple)
1 small sweet onion (like Vidalia), sliced thin and separated in rings
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
To prepare the pecans, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the pecans in butter. Stir together the sugar and spices in a bowl. Add the pecans and toss to coat. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with foil (the nonstick variety is best) Bake for 10 to 13 minutes. Cool for about 20-25 minutes, separate with a fork if any stick together.
To prepare the dressing, whisk the cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until well blended.
Assemble the salad ingredients in a salad bowl by layering the spinach, apple slices, onion rings and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle the top with the pecans.
Drizzle with the amount of vinaigrette dressing desired and serve! You can make the dressing up to three days ahead of time and the pecans up to a week in advance if stored in an airtight container!