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Spinach and Apricot Salad

You often tell me how much you love the stories and little asides that I add to my recipe posts and cookbooks.  It occurred to me though that I am feeling rather anxious about having abandoned you during my elongated absence from creating recipes.  To ease my anxiety I am going to focus on simply getting a bunch of recipes to you, and that means I’ll forego much of the writing until I feel like I have redeemed myself.  Besides which, you learned more about me in 2014 than you might ever have wanted to know.  Let’s just say I think I front-loaded all the writing this year.

That said, let’s get back to the cooking!

No Friday Night Dinner – or *SANE meal any day of the week – would be complete without a bunch of veggies heaped on the plate.  While I was mulling over what veggies to dish up with the Baked BBQ Chicken the other week, I decided to do a salad for speed, but I wanted it to feel warm and comforting, not cold and fresh.  A winter salad, if you will.  Spinach immediately popped into my mind, probably because it’s not a crispy, crunchy green.  It’s softer and floppier and feels warmer, even when it’s raw.  I also wanted something that wouldn’t compete with the SANE BBQ Sauce smothering the chicken.  With warm, mellow-flavored leaves as a starting point I pondered which foods evoke thoughts of colder months: pears, dried apricots, walnuts; and before I knew it I had a salad on my hands.www.carriebrown.com

I whisked up a super simple dressing, added scallions (green onions) for a touch of ‘bite’, and finished it off with some goat cheese.  Food doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious.  A good recipe and fresh, real-food ingredients and you’re there.

Wildman is a big fan of spinach salads, and this one was a winner for him.  He loved the soft, sweet pear pieces and the mild, creamy goat cheese, with a light dressing that was there but didn’t overpower any of the other flavors.

Top tips:

  • I find the easiest and fastest way to chop dried apricots is to use kitchen scissors.
  • Leave the goat cheese in the fridge until the last minute as it can get very soft to handle at room temperature

 

Spinach and Apricot Salad
Author: Carrie Brown | www.carriebrown.com
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large, firm, unblemished pear, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 oz. / 55g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 6 large scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. / 170g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. xylitol
  • 8 oz. / 225g spinach leaves
  • 4 oz. / 110g goat cheese, cut into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Place the pear pieces in a small bowl with the lemon juice and toss to coat thoroughly.
  2. In another bowl put the walnuts, scallions, dried apricots, and the pear pieces (without any of the extra lemon juice) and mix them together well.
  3. In another small bowl whisk the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and xylitol together well.
  4. Place the spinach leaves in a large serving bowl, add the fruit mixture and toss.
  5. Pour the dressing evenly over the salad.
  6. Add the goat cheese and gently toss the whole salad a few times.

www.carriebrown.com

 

 

5 comments
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  • KimNow that you might be taking requests (YEAH!) … can you come up with a fun “bread/wrap/SomethingOrOther”. I miss the whole sandwich concept … I tried making a popover/dutch baby with coconut and almond flour and oh … there must be a secret I’m missing there. Please help … I’m tired of wrapping everything in lettuce. :+)ReplyCancel

  • MonicaThis salad is so, so good… It’s Panera quality (which is great IMHO–I love their salads)! We all went back for seconds. Good thing it was so delicious, too, since it was the entire dinner cus I forgot to marinade the chicken that was to accompany it ;P
    I’m sadly allergic to spinach, so I used romaine–noticing that you went for “mellow-flavored leaves”. Will make this many, many more times–thank you!!!ReplyCancel