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Friday, June 3, 2011

Spinach and Apple Salad with Crispy Almonds

I have a LOT of salad recipes on my blog...a few of which are my classic standbys, such as the Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing and the Cranberry Nectarine Salad. Even so, I can't resist trying a new salad recipe. I'm glad I did in this case, as this one turned out to be a winner. With only a few ingredients in the salad itself, it's a nice simple side alongside a lot of different types of meals. I made both the dressing and the sugared almonds a day ahead of time, so assembly took less than 10 minutes and it was ready to go!

Candied pecans and walnuts are pretty frequent in many restaurant salads, but I liked the slivered almonds in this one. They were sweet, but not overly so, as candied nuts sometimes can be. I contemplated adding some feta to this before serving, but I'm glad I left it as is...the simplicity of this allowed the few ingredients and the sweet dressing to really stand out.

Next time you find yourself in a salad rut, give this one a try!

One Year Ago: Kahlua Brie Appetizer

Spinach and Apple Salad with Crispy Almonds
from Bon Appetit, June 1997 (found on the epicurious iphone app)
*serves 6-8

for the dressing-
-1/4 cup minced onion
-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-3 tbsp white wine vinegar
-2 tbsp sesame seeds
-1/4 tsp paprika
-2 tbsp sugar
-1/2 cup olive oil

-2 tbsp butter
-3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
-1 tbsp sugar

-1 bag fresh spinach (10 oz)
-2 medium-sized red apples, thinly sliced

1. To make the dressing, combine the onion, vinegars, sesame seeds, and paprika in a small bowl. Mix in 2 tbsp sugar and gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add almonds and stir until they begin to lightly brown (about 2 minutes). Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar over almonds and stir until sugar melts and begins to turn golden (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat, transfer almonds to a bowl, and set aside to cool.
3. To make salad, combine spinach and apples in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Mix in almonds.