Monday, October 28, 2019

Rosie Makes A Spinach Salad With A Mustard Vinaigrette.

I love a good salad.
And I like a salad with a twist - sweet and savory in this case.
This one fills the bill.
I'm using spinach, but any mixed leafy greens would work here.
I'm also using fruit - apples and grapes here - but pears would do nicely too.
I have some crumbled Cotija cheese which is like a mild feta,
but again, you can substitute here.
Try ricotta salata if you like.
And I have some candied nuts - pecans and almonds.
My mustard vinaigrette pulls it all together.
For the candied nuts:
 In a dry skillet, heat a few handfuls of nuts.
Your choice.
I'm going with pecan halves and whole almonds today.
Just toss in the skillet over medium heat until a little toasty.
When you start to smell the nuts,
remove from heat, and pour into a small, shallow baking pan.

In a small saucepan, dissolve 1 TB brown sugar, 1 TB granulated sugar,
and a pinch or two of kosher salt in 2 TB water.
Bring to a boil.
Pour over nuts, toss to coat, and spread evenly in the pan.
Bake in a 275° oven for about 10 minutes.
Let cool.
Salad ingredients:
spinach leaves, stemmed (or mixed greens)
assorted fruits, like apples and pears, sliced and tossed in a little lemon juice to keep from browning
sliced, seedless red grapes (I prefer red to green grapes.  Better flavor.)
dried cranberries or craisins
candied nuts
cotija cheese, crumbled

Mustard Vinaigrette
1 TB coarse grain, stone ground mustard (I'm liking Inglehoffer right now.)
1 TB cider vinegar
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 TB honey
1 TB lemon juice
enough extra virgin olive oil to make 1 cup vinaigrette (about 3/4 cup)
pinch kosher salt, to taste
Combine first five ingredients, then slowly whisk in olive oil to make a nice emulsion.
Add salt, to taste.

Taste will vary greatly depending on what types balsamic vinegar and olive oil you use.  I recommend going to stores like the  Spice and Tea Exchange or Ella's Olive,
both in Scarborough Lane Shoppes in Duck, or Outer Banks Olive Oil
at MP 6 on the bypass.  You'll be able to taste test the vinegars and oils before you buy and pick out what you like.  I always keep a selection of good quality balsamic vinegars and extra virgin olive oils on hand for whatever needs I might have.  


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