I make the nuts and dressing ahead of time so I can just throw together the salad when it's time to eat. All and all a very simple meal! Awesome with grilled chicken too.
Spinach and Blueberry Salad w/ Goat Cheese & Candied Walnuts w/ Blueberry Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1/2 jar of Bonne Madam Wild Blueberry Preserves (in the jelly isle w/ a white label black writing)
- salt and pepper
- 1 large shallot minced
- 2 large cloves of garlic minced
- 3 1/2 tbsp (two big squirts) of dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
- bag of 50/50 spring mix and baby spinach
- bag of shelled walnuts
- 2 pints of blueberries (we like a lot of blueberries in it)
- about a cup of brown sugar (I don't measure this, just keep pouring, I normally use brown sugar Splenda to reduce the calories but today I did use regular brown sugar b/c it was what was open
- about a half to 3/4 of a log of goat cheese (I crumbled some on the salad and left the rest on the table incase people wanted more goat cheese)
- To make the nuts. In a sauté pan on med to high heat dump in the nuts. Toast them constantly string for about 5-7 minutes. If they start to smoke remove from heat as you don't want to burn the nuts. Once warmed and toasted start adding brown sugar. I dump in a bit stir it around till it melts and clumps. I usually add about three dumps worth from the bag. It will appear as though they aren't candying however keep string at some point they will get gooey and brown. Once gooey stir for another minute or two. Lay out foil and dump straight from pan onto foil and let cool. Once cool break up and put into a plastic bag to save till you make your salad.
- To make the dressing: dump garlic, shallots, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, and white balsamic vinegar into a bowl (or food processor bowl). I then used my immersion blender (if you don't have one get one, or use a food processor, its much easier to use and wash) to blend together all these ingredients. I slowly added the olive oil blending as I added then added the white wine. Pump the immersion blender up and down to incorporate some air to bulk up the dressing. Pour into whatever vessel you are going to use to pour the dressing and refrigerate until you are going to use you want it cold so it thickens up a little bit.
- Throw the spring mix/baby spinach into a large bowl top w/ washed blueberries.
- Break up goat cheese and sprinkle on salad, mix it in then sprinkle again.
- If you are serving to a big crowd add the nuts, I serve them on the side so they don't get soggy. Leave dressing on the side so folks an dress their own salad. Enjoy.