Spiced Maple Walnuts, Cranberries, & Blue Cheese Salad
One thing I love is a big green salad. I know, I’m weird. But I love how fresh they are, and how easy to throw together when you don’t fee like cooking. Plus, they’re super good for you (as long as you don’t slather them in bacon and ranch dressing). This is one of my favorites, and here’s the recipe I’ve been using lately to make lightly glazed walnuts as a topping. They’re a bit spicy and not too sweet, and they’re also really delicious just for snacking or serving at a party.
Spiced Maple Glazed Walnuts
(altered from recipe here)
Makes 4 cups
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
4 cups raw walnuts (halves and pieces are fine)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, pour the maple syrup over the nuts and toss to coat. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to distribute evenly.
Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. When cooled completely, the nuts should be crispy.
For the salad, prepare a plate of lettuce leaves. I like to use a bagged spring green mix. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette. I make my own by mixing 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil with 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar plus a dash of salt and pepper. Olive oil works, too, but if you’re making a batch to keep for later be aware that the olive oil will solidify in the refrigerator. Sprinkle your salad with glazed walnuts, dried cranberries, and blue cheese.
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