Earlier in the summer I enjoyed the most delicious spinach salad at a restaurant. It had blackberries, goat cheese and candied pecans, and the dressing was a rhubarb vinaigrette. I love a good spinach salad, and this was the best I've ever eaten, a perfect blend of flavors and textures. I couldn't get this salad out of my mind, but luckily I didn't have to, because it was fairly easy to recreate a reasonable facsimile at home.
- The restaurant used candied pecans, but I skip those and just throw on toasted pecans. If you live near a Trader Joe's, did you know that you can buy already-toasted baking pieces of pecans? What a great shortcut.
- I've used herbed goat cheese but prefer the plain in this salad. Most often, I use a lovely soft mild goat cheese from my farm box.
- I usually have my salads without dressing, as in the picture above, but I found a honey vinaigrette which I think pairs nicely with the goat cheese in the salad (see picture, below). I based it on this recipe. Here's my version:
- 2 T chopped red onion
- 2 T cider vinegar
- 3 tsp honey (in my case, sourwood)
- 1 tsp walnut oil
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- salt to taste
I love this salad and make it at least once a week. It's not as wonderful as at the restaurant, but it is a good stand-in.