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Spinach Salad with Curried Pecans, Blue Cheese and Apples

spinach salad recipe
This recipe should really be titled, My Favorite Salad Ever. I love, love, love this salad. I made it for the first time for Christmas dinner and have come back to it again and again. You can make the components ahead of time and just throw together this salad at the last minute right before you are going to serve it. While there are a few different pieces to this salad, and the ingredient list does look sort of long, it is totally easy to make and you probably have everything on hand. This salad is a perfect first course without a protein on it and a filling dinner with one. Maybe some bread on the side?

spinach salad recipeFor the pecans:

6 ounces pecan halves
2 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
a pinch of cayenne pepper

Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

To make the salad:

1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach
1 Gala or Fuji apple thinly sliced
1 small red onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

spiced pecan recipePreheat your oven to 350 degrees. Toss the pecan in all the melted butter with the remaining ingredients. Toss to coat the pecans completely. Spread the nuts on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 13 minutes. Cool and set aside. I use half for the salad and snack on the rest. You can make these a few days ahead of time and keep them in an airtight container. Hide them so that some actually make it on the salad.

Put all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake until combined. Dressing done. You can make this a few days ahead of time also. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. This makes a lot of dressing. Use about 1/4 and go from there when dressing your salad.

spinach salad recipePut everything into the bowl. Season the leaves with a little salt and fresh black pepper. Toss with 1/4 of the dressing.

spinach salad recipesOn this particular evening, I made this a dinner salad. I marinated the chicken in some of the dressing with about a Tablespoon of curry powder whisked in. I wanted the flavor of the chicken to mirror the flavors of the nuts. We grilled the chicken and sliced it on the bias. I drizzled a little more dressing on the top of the grilled chicken. Looking at these pictures again are making me very hungry.

spinach salad recipesMy favorite dinner salad. Make one and share it with somebody that you like having around, because they will be back around.

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  1. Lauren

    April 13th, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Curried pecans sound like an amazing flavor addition to both of these salads. Lovely photos!

  2. Katie @ goodLife {eats}

    April 19th, 2010 at 8:12 am

    I need this salad in my life ASAP!!

  3. bakedbree

    April 21st, 2010 at 9:53 am

    it my favorite salad. i could eat it every day.

  4. Kelly C

    February 17th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    O.M.G. I cannot believe I have lived for 32 years without having curried candied pecans. I have to double the pecan recipe because they are SO good I can’t keep my hands off of them.
    The salad is also to die for. Mmmmm. My husband loved it as well. I didn’t have any blue cheese but I did have goat cheese with figs in it and used that instead. So delish. Thanks Bree.

  5. bakedbree

    February 18th, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    lol Kelly! Aren’t they amazing?

  6. Jess Walton

    April 4th, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Hey Bree!
    Tyler’s mom (and Drew’s) here from soccer…made this for Drew’s 1st birthday brunch yesterday and it was such a hit! Everyone raved (I cited your site of course) and even my huskies loved the pecans as evidence by them stealing the tupperware and TEARING into it and gobbling up every last pecan (rats!)…thanks so much loved it!

    Jess

  7. bakedbree

    April 5th, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Happy Birthday Tyler! I can’t believe that you are 1 already! I love this salad, it is one of my all time favorites. The pecans are crazy!

  8. Sarah

    June 15th, 2011 at 10:13 am

    WOW! I’m making this TONIGHT! YUMMY!

  9. bakedbree

    June 16th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    This is one of my favorite salads ever. I make it all the time. The pecans are crazy good!

  10. Sarah

    June 20th, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Okay…..it was AMAZING! And I can’t keep my 22 month old out of the left over pecans! 🙂

  11. bakedbree

    June 20th, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I know! I love the pecans. I could eat those all by themselves.

  12. Catherine

    September 2nd, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I just recently discovered your blog and an hardly wait to try out some of the recipes. The sound delicious and incorporate some ingredients I don’t normally use. The one comment I have though is, your photos lool delicious and it’s great to see what the dish looks like as it progresses, I would like to be able to print out the recipe without the photos. Wastes so much paper.

    Thanks for the recipes.

  13. bakedbree

    September 3rd, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Hi Catherine, if you click on the print friendly button on the bottom of each post, you can take all of the images off before printing.

  14. joan benoit

    March 24th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    I just discovered this fabulous website !!!! I am 75 and love to cook and bake and can hardly wait to try these recipes..I needed some new recipes after all these years…Thanks…

  15. bakedbree

    March 31st, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Welcome Joan!

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