One of my favorite types of recipes to try are salads, and I love signing up to bring the salad when we go to dinner at someone's house because I love a good salad with dinner, and it gives me a chance to try something new and creative. I saw this recipe recently and it looked really good, and like something I would like...because if you follow my blog, you might have caught on that I like spinach salads with fruit and tasty dressings ;)!
This recipe calls for gouda cheese, and I assume it's for the regular, unsmoked variety. However, the only brands of unsmoked gouda at my grocery store were ridiculously expensive for what I needed to spend on a salad, and the smoked gouda was much more reasonably priced. So, I took a chance on some smoked gouda and was pleasantly surprised! Before we ate dinner, one of my friends, as we were talking about the salad, said it sounded like the type of salad that would be great with crumbled bacon, and I agreed. So when we sat down to eat, we agreed that the smoked gouda did give it that hint of bacon flavor, and it was a good combination with the sweet apples and tart dressing. Either way, I don't think you can go wrong! Gouda is just good.
This recipe was really easy to make, and the almonds were worth the few minutes they took to prepare. I am not a huge cider vinegar fan, but the addition of it in the dressing was subtle and good, and sugar helped to sweeten it up. I didn't have any sesame seeds, so I omitted them and didn't feel like I was missing anything. This is a great salad to make!
Sorry for the lack of picture- if you want one, click on the link below to the source of the recipe!
Spinach apple salad with crispy almonds
from Pennies on a platter, (and originally adapted from Epicurious)
I N G R E D I E N T S :
1/4 cup minced onion
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp paprika
3 Tbsp sugar, divided
1/2 cup olive oil (I used half olive oil and half canola)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 bag (10 oz) baby spinach leaves
2 red-skinned apples, cored and sliced thin
1/2 lb Gouda cheese, sliced in small pieces
D I R E C T I O N S :
In a small bowl, throughly mix together the onion, vinegars, sesame seeds and paprika. Stir in 2 Tbsp sugar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, and then season to taste with salt and pepper (I always make dressings in my food processor so that they stay blended for longer).
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in the almonds and cook until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbsp sugar evenly over the almonds, and toss until the sugar melts and begins to turn golden, about 2 more minutes. Transfer toasted almonds to a plate to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach leaves and sliced apples. Toss with just enough dressing to coat. Mix in the almonds and cheese. Serve the salad with the remaining dressing separately.
Note: Dressing and almonds can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover separately and let stand at room temperature.