Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Apple, Pecan and Cheddar Spinach Salad with Sweet Maple Dressing

Today is Tuesdays with Dorie, my weekly baking club day. It is outrageous to see a leaf of spinach here on Tuesdays, or anything green-unless it is tinted frosting. Instead, you should see butter, sugar, and flour emerging from the oven in a variety of tempting creations. But I confess that I never have the heart for extra sugar in the days following Halloween. Bear with me.
This is my sugar free-est week of the year. For some reason, the sweet magic ends on Halloween night for me, and it's a very good thing, since I'm hoping to never weigh 682 pounds. Up until October 31st, I raid the cupboard of all our tricks and treats. The charges always catch me-those darn crinkly wrappers!-and then I have to share. Quiet Man finds the open bags and digs in too, filling his pockets on the way to work. I'm forced to buy more candy (my favorite kinds, of course)...then we eat that too. Please don't tell my new dentist. But then when Halloween is over, the sugar monster can be kept at bay. Yesterday West and Sailor actually chose apples out of their treat bags OVER the candy. It isn't because they are virtuous and self-denying; we're all maddeningly sick of candy. And in case you are wondering, it's still safe to get an apple for Halloween in Smalltown, USA.
And speaking of apples, here's my latest and greatest favorite salad showcasing Fall's most winsome fruit. I've shared variations on this salad before, but I think this is the best version. It's decidedly American in flavor, with creamy cheddar, crunchy pecans, and crisp apples, in a sweet maple dressing. If you're off candy, give this salad a go. If you aren't off candy, give it a go anyway. I think it would make a very nice appetizer to a Reese's peanut butter cup. Just not this week.
Money Saving Tips: If you don't have pure maple syrup, sub in a little pancake syrup. Compare the price of bagged spinach with the loose and buy for a bargain. Any apple you've got on hand will work well-even a baking apple -since it will be coated in sweet dressing. It's a great idea to double or triple the dressing and use it all week long.
Spinach and Apple Salad
Estimated Cost: $4.00 for four servings
1/4 cup light flavored olive oil, or vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
about 6 cups baby spinach
2 small crisp apples (I like Gala and Golden Delicious)
2 ounces cheddar, diced
1/4 cup paper thin onion slices
In a small bowl whisk oil, cider, vinegar, sugar, and syrup. (I love to throw mine in the blender and let it get nice and thick.) Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Combine salad ingredients at the last possible minute. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Next Up:
Classic Cheddar Mac and Cheese


The JR said...

That salad looks amazing. I love spinach salad. Will have to try it with the apple, pecan and cheddar cheese.

Your dressing recipe looks like a perfect match.

Eleganza Strings/ The DeLadurantey Family said...

We love different salads, this is a must in our kitchen soon!

The Del Sisters

gigi said...

This is just right up my ally! We just planted Spinach this past weekend. I need a majic garden so I don't have to wait :)

Fantastic Mr. R said...

I've been hooked on your swiss cheese salad, but now I will have to try this one tonight. I think your salads taste better than anywhere....I guess I would say the same about your food, too.

MK and Co. said...

This salad looks delicious. I love all of those flavors. Thanks Prudy!

Catherine said...

That salad looks and sounds delicious! I love all those flavors. Thanks for sharing Prudy! I can't wait to try this one.

Katy ~ said...

After a sugar rush I always crave veggies, too. This looks terrific.

Rindy R said...

oh this looks so good - and must taste like Fall! YUM - this is going on my list to make! Thanks!

Jen Chandler said...

This sounds wonderful! I think I'll make it for Thanksgiving. My mom adores apples in a salad.


Alexis said...

This sounds so good and I am a huge fan of spinach. The dressing sounds amazing. Can't wait to try it.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

One of the things I love most about fall is making this dressing! Toasted walnuts or pecans really put this over the top too!

Valerie said...

Oh, wow! That looks so good. My kinda salad.

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