Friday, April 2, 2010

Candied Walnut Salad

I will admit, I don't jump at the chance to bring salad to a potluck. It's not something I think I'm any good at making, besides the normal kind of salad with lettuce and vegetables. Well, our church had a potluck dinner on Thursday to celebrate Maundy Thursday and I was to bring a salad. I thought to myself, why couldn't I have gotten a dessert? That I am good at. Anyway, I wanted to take this opportunity to try a new salad and I found one on The Sisters Cafe that looked yummy, and boy was it! It was easy to make and so yummy. I could have eaten all the candied walnuts before I got to the potluck! I think this would go well with just about anything. It's a little sweet, but not overpowering. Perfect accompaniment to any dish!

Candied Walnut Salad
from The Sisters Cafe

2 heads of leafy greens (I used 3/4 bag of spinach and a 1/2 head of Romaine
3/4 cup Craisins
2 crisp apples (I used red delicious.)
1-2 TBSP Orange juice
2 oz. blue cheese or Gorgonzola
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. sugar
Combine walnuts and sugar in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly. After a few minutes, the sugar will liquefy. Pay close attention; at this point stir to cover walnuts with the sugar coating. The syrup will begin to darken and will coat the nuts. When they reach a golden brown color, remove from heat. Stir occasionally as the nuts begin to cool. After a few minutes, spread candied nuts onto a greased piece of parchment or wax paper or a greased cookie sheet and allow to cool completely. Set aside.

Chop apples and toss in orange juice.

When ready to serve, toss lettuce, cranberries, walnuts, apples, and blue cheese in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing. (You may not want to toss the entire salad with the dressing if you think you will not eat all of it. The dressing will wilt any leftovers.)

Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil

Mix together and store in fridge until ready to use.

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