Spinach Salad with Candied Walnuts and Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette

Oh my gosh, Becky, look at her…

Apologies, I currently have that song on constant repeat in my head.

Do you ever feel like something that should be relatively simple, very quickly becomes way too complicated.  Especially when it has to do with the government.   Ah, yes, my favorite, the government.

I think I’ve been reading The Hunger Games too much lately because that previous sentence made me scared that someone from the government would sense my sarcasm and come hunt me down.

By the way, The Hunger Games has had me in a drunken stupor for the past two weeks.   I can not stop reading those darn books.  It’s like crack. Actually, It’s more like when I read The Help.  When I stayed up until 3am on a Thursday reading and then dragged myself into the office the next morning, barely able to keep my eyes open.  Despite the droopy eyes, I may or may not have placed the book under my keyboard and just continued reading it for the rest of the day.

The moral of my story is to not read The Hunger Games or The Help.  The second moral is to never exchange paperwork with the government.  Shoot, that isn’t possible considering just being born requires doing paperwork with the government.   Actually, what I do recommend is being born in the country you are a citizen of.  As in, it’s not cool to be born abroad, because that makes you extra special and requires more paperwork.

A good relief to lots of paperwork is to make salad.  With candied walnuts or it can be pecans.  I have been addicted to this salad and the dressing for the last month.  It does maybe require twenty minutes of your time to get the nuts and dressing ready, but once it’s all done you are set for the rest of the week.   And you’ll be in salad heaven, feeling slightly guilty that salad can taste this good.

I made the dressing in the blender, but if you don’t want to go through the effort a whisk has worked just fine for me in the past.  Just give the dressing a good shake when you take it out of the fridge.

Because all things depend on how much salad you’re making I will leave the toppings and spinach/salad greens without exact quantities.  Just adjust to how many people you are serving.

Salad (adapted from the Girl Who Ate Everything):
– Spinach/salad greens
– Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese or Feta (if you aren’t a fan of strong cheeses)
– Raspberries (or any other berry of your choice)
– Chopped Candied Nuts (recipe below)
– Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Candied Pecans/Walnuts:
– 1 cup of pecans or walnuts
– 1/2 cup of sugar

– Place a sheet of aluminum paper out on your counter ready for when the nuts are caramelized.
– In a small skillet on medium high cook the sugar and nuts.  Make sure to stir constantly, as the sugar and nuts can easily burn.  After around 5 minutes the sugar will begin to melt and caramelize.  Once no sugar lumps are remaining, and it is fully melted and covering the nuts pour the nuts out on the foil.  Once the nuts have cooled chop them up.

Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette (adapted from Our Best Bites):
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil or canola oil

Place in blender vinegar, honey, garlic, salt and pepper.  Blend for a minute.  Then with blender on high pour the oil in a steady stream. You can also place all of the ingredients in a bowl and simply whisk together.

3 replies on “Spinach Salad with Candied Walnuts and Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette”

1. I love salad. Especially with berries. And nuts. And cheese. Yours looks a-mazing.

2. Juliet totally hears you on the “don’t be born in another country if you don’t want to have a paperwork headache.” Too late now, though. 🙂

Oh yes! Poor Juliet! Though she’ll mostly be okay until she needs to get a copy of her birth certificate. 🙁

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