Monday, March 3, 2008

Holy Schnikies, that's one tasty salad!!

As much as I appreciate delicious food, it's pretty rare for me to have a reaction like I had last night. I was suddenly rendered monosyllabic.

Wow. Whoah. Soooo. Good.

Maybe it's because I was doped up on Aleve for the ankle, but I think I had a religious experience while eating this salad. If you're going to try anything on my blog, TRY THIS.

I stumbled upon this recipe yesterday while surfing the net with my foot propped up on an ottoman under a nice cold bag of sugar snap peas. There's not much I can do right now besides rest and dream of recipes I want to make. My husband has added to his duties of chief taster and clean up visionary (yes, he has many ideas on how to decrease the pileup), to Whole Foods mystery shopper and reluctant sous chef. Seriously, he's the best.

Are your reading Kitchen Queen Victoria? You are going to love this.

Oh, you wanted the recipe already? Here it is:

Spinach Salad with Caramelized Onions and Apples by Alison Anton

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, sliced thin

1 apple, sliced thin

1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Pinch salt

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons walnut oil (or use more olive oil)

1 cup pecans or walnuts

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons maple syrup

4 handfuls of baby spinach

2 ounces goat feta

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and apple. Saute for 2-3 minutes, turn down the heat to medium-low and cover. Add curry. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 35-45 minutes, until the onions have released their natural sugars and begun to caramelize. They should be a nice caramel color.

In the meantime, prepare the dressing and candied pecans. For the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together in a small dish. Let the dressing sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

For the pecans, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Place the pecans in the pan, stirring and flipping constantly, until the pecans are lightly toasted, about 8 minutes—watch out, they burn fast at the end.

Add the spices and salt; mix about 30 seconds to toast the spices. Turn the heat to low and add the maple syrup. Stir constantly, cooking until the mixture has thickened and is very sticky, about two minutes. Remove to a plate and cool completely.

Place a handful of spinach onto four salad plates. Drizzle with the dressing. Place 1/4 of the warmed caramelized onions over each of the plates of spinach and top with the candied pecans and feta. Give each a grinding of fresh black pepper. Serve while the onions are still warm.

  • First, check out Alison Anton's blog at I must have spent an hour perusing it last night. I found at least 10 recipes I want to try.

  • You know what's great about caramelizing onions? Even though it takes a while, it's pretty effortless and the result is outstanding flavor. I was being careful not to stand up too long, so basically I covered the pan for 30 minutes and checked in only twice for quick stirs.

  • I highly recommend using walnut oil in the dressing rather than using extra olive oil. It adds a unique touch.

  • I had both walnuts and pecans on hand, so I used a half cup of each. After we made the spiced nuts, it's amazing that any landed in the salad. They are outrageously good.

  • I wish I could make this blog "Scratch & Sniff." Remember those stickers? Curry & Cinnamon. Wow. I'm starting to feel monosyllabic again.

When I sent hubby out to Whole Foods yesterday for a grocery run, I armed him with one of my favorite things from


Kitchen Queen Victoria said...

You situation sound so familiar... alas... Hope it feels much better today.

Incredible salad recipe! I think we will be entertaining for a few days next weekend and this looks easy enough to whip up for lunch, yet very company-worthy. Thanks for bringing that (and the chart-site, I forget the name of it already!) to my attention. :)


Sharon said...

Sounds delicious!! I have been looking for a good salad recipe, so I'm glad I checked on here today :) I'd like to add a protein to you think shrimp would work?

Hope your ankle is doing better. I'm prone to falling (clutziness is one of my virtues) so I feel your pain.

RecipeGirl said...

Anything with Caramelized Onions is ok by me!

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