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Monday, December 5, 2011

Spinach Salad with Cinnamon Apples, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts

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I have a ton of salad recipes on this blog. I also have a ton of favorite salad recipes on this blog. I love me a good dinner salad, which I most definitely got from my mom. Despite the abundance of salads you'll find on this blog, I'm not going to stop trying new ones. I can't, because then I might miss out on wonderful new discoveries like this one.
The ingredients are basic: apples, goat cheese, walnuts...but when combined with a cinnamon raspberry vinaigrette, the salad is anything but basic! The original recipe calls for microwaving the apples in cinnamon. I did that the first time I made the salad, as you'll see in the photos above. The second time around, I just added a chopped apple and skipped the microwaving/cinnamon step. To be honest, both versions were good, but I probably liked the non-cinnamon apple version better. You still get the cinnamon flavor from the dressing and I imagine mushy apples might be a turnoff for some. Still, try it either way you desire...the salad's sure to be a win!

Spinach Salad with Cinnamon Apples, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts

-1 apple (I used honeycrisp!), quartered and cored
-2 tsp water
-2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
-1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
-1 tsp sugar
-1 tsp Dijon mustard
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1 (8-10 oz.) package mixed salad greens
-1/2 package (4 oz.) crumbled goat cheese
-3 tbsp walnuts, coarsely chopped

1. Cut apple quarters into 1/4-inch slices. Place in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tsp water and 1 tsp cinnamon. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Set aside to cool. (Alternately, you could just cut the apples into chunks and skip the cinnamon/microwave part of this.)
2. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and remaining 1 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl until combined. Add canola oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking to combine.
3. In a large bowl, toss salad greens with goat cheese, walnuts, and apples. Add vinaigrette (you might have extra, depending on how heavily dressed you want your salad) and toss to combine.