Spinach Salad With Candied Walnuts, Craisins, and Blue Cheese

Kim Conte

spinach saladCandied walnuts are the stars of this easy spinach salad. The sweetness from the nuts pairs really well with fruits like apples, pears, and dried cranberries -- all of which are balanced nicely by the acidity from balsamic vinegar dressing.

Candied Walnuts

  • Nonstick spray
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 cups walnuts

Preheat oven to 325. Combine sugar and vinegar in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes). Add nuts. Toss to coat. Transfer mixture to baking sheet, lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake until nuts are deep brown and syrup has thickened, stirring occasionally (about 10-15 minutes). Be careful not to burn. Cool completely. Break apart.

Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or more if needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk vinegar, mustard, and honey together. Slowly whisk in olive oil until it's incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

For salad: Combine 1 bag of baby spinach leaves, candied walnuts, 1 apple/pear sliced, 1 cup craisins, and 2 oz crumbled blue cheese. Drizzle with dressing and toss.


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