- 3 cups of spinach, washed and trimmed
- 6 slices of thick cut bacon, trimmed of excess fat and diced
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/2 cup of whole, unsalted pecans
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 tsp.cayenne
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 oz. of blue cheese, crumbled
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Wash and dry the spinach. Trim stems.
- Fry the bacon until crisp and drain off most of the fat. Return the pan to the heat, add the maple syrup and brown sugar. Stir to coat the bacon. Remove from the pan and let cool on parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover pecans with water for one minute. Drain using a sieve and shake off excess water. Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cayenne and kosher salt. Add the pecans. Stir to coat nuts evenly. Place nuts in a sieve and shake off excess sugar. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the sugared nuts on the pan. They tend to clump, so separate them. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, turning nuts over half way through baking. Remove from the oven when they are golden brown. Let cool.
- Combine spinach, bacon, nuts and cheese in a large bowl. Whisk together the dressing. Add to salad bowl and toss.
The spiced pecans are delicious by themselves as a snack. You will have enough of the sugar mixture to coat a cup of pecans, so I advise making a cup of the spiced nuts. Trust me, you won't regret it. I sometimes substitute ground cinnamon for the cayenne.
In a twitter chat earlier this week I mentioned that one of my favorite toppings for salad greens is candied bacon. I immediately received a flurry of requests for the recipe. It is as delicious as it sounds and ridiculously easy to make. I also include spiced pecans and blue cheese in this salad. In the autumn, I add slices of crisp, tart apple from the farmers’ market.
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