Warm Tomato and Spinach Salad

I first had a salad like this at a favorite Italian restaurant. I began craving it (yes, I was pregnant). I came up with excuses to go there for dinner so I could have it again. It was all I wanted on the menu. I tried to get the recipe, but I could only get teasing little tidbits out of the waitress. Then they replaced it with an uncraveworthy substitute, and I knew I had to take things into my own hands. This is what I came up with. It is not quite as good as the original, but it is real close.


WARM TOMATO AND SPINACH SALAD


Fresh spinach to fill salad bowl

½ red onion, sliced

tomato wedges

5.3 oz. goat cheese

dressing (recipe below)

spicy pecans , chopped (recipe below)



Warm tomatoes and onion in salad dressing, then toss with spinach. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts. 


BALSAMIC AND BASIL VINAIGRETTE

 

1/4 C. fresh basil, minced

7 Tbs. (yes, really) garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Black pepper, ground

3/4 tsp. Sugar

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 C. Balsamic vinegar

1 C.Extra Virgin Olive oil


In a blender or food processor, thoroughly blend all ingredients.



SPICY CARAMELIZED PECANS

 

2/3 c. pecans, coarsely chopped

1 Tbs. butter

1 tbsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper


Place pecans in skillet and cover barely with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat and drain immediately. Place pecans back in pan with next 4 ingredients. Cook over medium to high heat, stirring until pecans brown and mixture caramelizes; then place on a plate to cool.

NOTE: Boiling the pecans permits the other ingredients to stick better.

© Being Fruitful, 2012