Spinach Salad with Cherries and Candied Cashews
Candying nuts in the oven is a snap when you coat them with a mixture of egg white, sugar, and spices. The nuts keep well in a sealed glass jar, so you might want to make extra for future salads. Candied nuts for dessert? Simply omit the thyme, salt, and pepper in the Candied Cashews recipe above, and you have a crunchy dessert topping.
- 1 large egg white
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or ¼ tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1½ cups raw cashews
- 1 cup halved and pitted fresh cherries (about 22 cherries)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 8 cups baby spinach
- ½ cup halved and pitted fresh cherries
- ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- ¼ cup dried cherries
1. To make Candied Cashews: Preheat oven to 300°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray with cooking spray.
2. Whisk together egg white and 1 Tbs. water in large bowl. Whisk in brown sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add cashews, and stir to thoroughly coat cashews.
3. Spread cashews on prepared baking sheet in single layer. Bake 15 minutes, then stir cashews on tray, and bake 15 minutes more, checking every 5 minutes to avoid burning. Cool.
4. To make Cherry Vinaigrette: blend all ingredients in blender until smooth, thinning with 1 to 2 Tbs. water, if desired.
5. To assemble Spinach Salad: Toss together all ingredients in large bowl with 1/4 cup Cherry Vinaigrette. (Reserve remaining vinaigrette for another use.) Sprinkle with Candied Cashews.
April/May 2014 p.74