Spinach Salad with Spiced Nuts

I swiped this recipe from Julie at The Sporadic Cook. I made it at Thanksgiving but we ate it up so fast I didn’t get any pictures then. The small Super Bowl gathering we had was a good excuse to make it again.

The nuts should be easy to make, but I have a confession – for some reason I can’t seem to carmelize nuts properly. Instead of the butter and sugar turning into a smooth, yummy coating for the nuts, it just clumps and then begins to separate. I don’t know why this is, and if anybody can help me out, please give me some hints! I’m sure this step will go well for you though, so don’t hesitate to try. It really is supposed to be easy!

For the nuts you’ll need:

2 cups pecans
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the sugar and spices. Stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the pecans and stir about 4 min. over medium heat. Pour them out onto a cutting board lined with wax paper and sprinkle them with sugar to make them sparkly.

To make the dressing you’ll need:

1/4 cup apple juice
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. dijon mustard
3/4 cup oil
2 Tbs. poppy seeds (I left these out)

Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the salad just before serving.

Now for the actual salad:

bag of baby spinach
2 apples, chopped and mixed with a bit of lemon juice to keep them from browning
1 cup chopped celery

Put it all together and turn yourself around – I mean toss the salad – and enjoy!

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Comments

  1. Hmm, I’m not sure why it did that. I had a few crumblies but most of it stuck to the pecans. Was your heat on too high maybe, made it melt and stick to each other before it got a chance to stick to the nuts?

  2. noel2momof3 says:

    that looks really good. have to try it soon :)

  3. Blogging Mama Andrea says:

    That looks good. Why did I have to stop by when I was hungry?? lol

  4. Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... says:

    Thanks for dropping by my blog to wish me Happy Valentine’s Day!! Same to you and your’s :)
    My hunny and I have a small organice farm in Georgia and your recipes look yummy. I will try the salad!! We grow and sell our own organice Romain and Red Leaf Lettuce. Wish you were closer, I’d send you some.
    Thanks so much again and….

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  5. Gratitude Gal says:

    Thanks for your kind words. I love this kind of salad, simple and full of taste. I really loved your vacation post. As a mom of four, I always looked for ways to save when we vacationed. I love freezing and taking, it really does make a difference. I never thought of dry ice, though and next time it will be in my cooler!!

  6. Ryan Ashley Scott@Optimistic Cynicism says:

    This looks gooood. I’m always looking for new ways to add spinach to our meals without actually opening one of those nasty cans. Thanks!

  7. But anyway…your salad looks lovely all tossed together :) Making me wish I had some now.

  8. Stopping by from SITS.

    That salad looks absolutley fabulous. I will have to add it to my recipes!

  9. Julie, yeah – I wonder about the heat being too high. I had it set to medium, but I was using an iron skillet, so maybe it was just getting too hot? I’ll have to try something different next time.

    I have another recipe that calls for carmelized nuts and I can’t do that one either.

  10. MommaYoung says:

    This looks so yummy… The texture and flavor combo have to be great!

    Thanks for sharing

  11. Wendy Taylor says:

    Thanks for the comment on my bento-style lunch packing.

    Great blog. I especially love the post on the vacation food. My kids don’t really eat much in restaurants so it is doubly expensive for me to eat out while on vacation. I will return to your blog when we pack for our next vacation. Thanks.

  12. Small House says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoy coming to your blog and seeing what’s for dinner :) I am for sure adding you to my favorites. Love your ideas!!
    Have a great day.

  13. Looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing! :)

  14. Ms Cupcake says:

    Dropping by from sits. Have a relaxing Sunday and make it a cupcake day!

    In case you’re interested my blog giveaway ends tonight. Grand prize is Juicy Couture cupcake earrings.

  15. The Blonde Duck says:

    That sounds great!

  16. This is my kind of salad! Yummo!

  17. Sounds so yummy! I love spinach. Mmmmm.

    Bev

  18. Netts Nook says:

    Oh I have every thing to make this can’t wait what a great salad. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  19. The Food Hunter says:

    I love a good spinach salad. This one looks great.

  20. I love trying new salads, especially ones that feature spinach!

  21. We all loved this. I did not have apple juice . So I used cran/raspberry juice. Also used honey Dijon mustard. Also added craisens . I don’t like salads.. But wanted this for the last 2 weeks. Just loved how health you feel after you in joy eating it. Yummy !!

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