Spinach, Apple and Blue Cheese Salad with Toasted Pecans

Recipe of the week

Spring is officially here! So grab your anti-histamines, soak up the sun and enjoy the flowers in bloom. After the lovely warm weekend we’ve just had we at MOM are inspired by all things leafy green. Try this Spinach, Apple and Blue Cheese Salad with Toasted Pecans, and let us know what you think!

Spinach, Apple and Blue Cheese Salad with Toasted Pecans

[Yield: 6 servings]

Ingredients

5 cups baby spinach
3 small apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup pecan nuts, toasted
200g feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup dried cranberries
125 g bacon, cooked till crisp and chopped
1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin strips (optional)
For the Maple-Cider Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Once heated, toast your pecan nuts for 7 minutes. It’s a good idea to toast your nuts before adding them to your salad as it gretaly enhances the flavor and texture of the nuts. Once toasted, set aside for later use.

Next, take your cored and sliced apples and toss them lightly in lemon juice. This will prevent the apples from discoloring as well as add a wonderful note of freshness to the salad.
For your salad, make sure the leaves are well washed. You can now buy ‘pre-washed’ leaves at the stores but it’s always a good idea to give it a wash at home as well, just to make sure you’ve avoided all pesticides and lingering wildlife. Spin dry your spinach in a salad spinner or by hand and leave it in the fridge. This will allow it to become crisper.

For the dressing combine all of the ingredients except for the oil in the blender. Once combined thoroughly, keep the blender on and slowly add the oil. This has the effect of emulsifying the oil which creates a smooth and creamy texture.

Mix all the ingredients except the bacon and feta. Dress the salad and then sprinkle with the bacon and feta.

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