“Ewwwww, Molly, why are you posting a salad recipe this close to Thanksgiving? We all know you’re stuffing your face with holiday “cheer,” aka cookies and any other form of baked good you can get your hands on!”
Yes. (No shame.)
BUT that doesn’t mean I completely forego the healthy stuff. You’ve got to have balance, friends! I actually start to crave something healthy after a while of eating the sweet stuff. Also, tip: eating a healthy breakfast means later in the day you can splurge a little. 😉
However, even though this salad is healthy it is still a decadent little charmer. The apples and raisins bring out the subtle sweetness in the dressing, which is perfectly light and not overpowering. Toasted pecans add a phenomenal crunch and flavor to the whole salad. The textures in that bowl! My oh my.
Added bonus: this salad is magical. You can’t tell how many raisins you’ve added because they have a habit of falling through the gaps in the spinach to the very bottom of the bowl. If you don’t catch on to tricky raisins like me and keep adding more and more… you basically end up with a vineyard at the bottom of your bowl!
Not kidding, the whole bottom of my bowl was coated in raisins. How magical! Guess I don’t need college. I’m a salad-bowl entrepreneur.
PLEASE, please, please take the time to toast the pecans! It really brings the vineyard-salad to a whole new level. (And you’ll thank me for the delicious aroma wafting through your home as a result.) It literally takes 5 minutes to toast them, and you don’t even dirty a pan because wax paper is SUCH a dear. I promise you won’t regret the little bit of extra time.
You can buy your own salad dressing if you want, but this homemade one is super easy. All the ingredients were already in my house. (Then again, my mother has a whole arsenal of cooking equipment under this roof that I had noooo idea about. Every time I come home I discover something new. For instance, we have a loaf pan. A LOAF PAN. What?! You better believe I made bread! The recipe will be on here soon, veeeery soon.)
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To toast the pecans:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread wax paper on a pan. Spread pecans on pan in a single layer. Toast in oven for 5-7 minutes. EASY PEASY.
For the dressing:
1 c. oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. vinegar
3 T. Dijon Mustard
1 T. Worcestershire
1/2 t. salt
Blend ingredients together. The oil and vinegar will separate when left to sit, so make sure to stir before using.
Apple Toasted Pecan Salad
2 c. Spinach
1/3 c. Raisins
1/3 c. Pecans, toasted
1/2 of an apple, sliced thin
Toss spinach, raisins, pecans, and apples in a bowl. Top with dressing to taste.