Spinach and Apple Salad with Cinnamon Maple Dressing / by Chelsea Zwieg

So full disclosure, I was going to tell you about this salad last week. But then I made these apple crisp bars and got way too excited about them to let salad get in the way. Sorry, salad. But now I've gotten all the apple bar talking out of my system and it's time to talk about this spinach-apple-pomegranate-Thanksgiving-ready (next week!!!) dream of a salad.  I think that the salad is a very important part of Thanksgiving a) because it gets you all veggie healthy and ready to eat a whole bunch of food and b) I just really love a good salad. 

And guys, this is a really really good salad. Just like I am all about lots of things in my soup (none of this pureé business) I also like lots of things in my salad. There is a salad place across from the bakery that I go to on the regular and it's basically like a big salad buffet where you can choose any toppings you want and they mix it all together for you with your choice of a million dressings. It's my dream come true. So naturally, this salad is loaded down with every good fall thing. Apples, pomegranate seeds, cranberries, cheese and spicy glazed pecans. It all gets finished with a cinnamon maple dressing that is 💯. 

While this salad is definitely T-day worthy, it would also make a killer dinner with some added chicken, turkey, hardboiled eggs or however else you like to beef up your salads.  

Spinach and Apple Salad with Cinnamon Maple Dressing

Adapted from the lovely lady who gave me life and also a whole bunch of dressing ideas: my mother (hi mom!)

| Ingredients |  

For the salad: 

  • 1 10oz. bag spinach
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar

For the dressing: 

  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic 
  • 2 tbsp. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • salt, to taste

| Instructions

  • Rinse and drain spinach. Place in a large bowl and top with apple slices, pomegranate seeds and cranberries. Toss to combine. 
  • In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together. Add the pecans and stir to coat. Continue to cook until the pecans are toasted, 2-3 minutes. Pour the mixture onto a piece of parchment or a non-stick mat and let cool. Once cool, break any large pieces apart and add the salad, along with the feta cheese. 
  • To make the dressing, blend all ingredients together until smooth. Add salt (and more cinnamon) to taste. 
  • Add the dressing to the salad immediately before serving.