1/2 cup raw pecan halves (plus 3 tablespoons for dressing, optional)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Pinch of salt
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons pecan oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 sweet red apple, such as Fuji or gala
5 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- To make the maple pecans: place the pecan halves and maple syrup in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the syrup is caramelized and the nuts are toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- To make the dressing: whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, shallot, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Whisk in the three tablespoons chopped pecans, if using.
- Right before serving: cut the apple into matchsticks. Place the spinach into a large bowl and toss with the dressing until coated. Divide the spinach among 4 serving plates. Evenly distribute apples, blue cheese crumbles and maple pecans as toppings and serve. Makes 6 cups.