Earlier this month, my family and I made the 15 hour drive to Michigan to visit my parents. While we were there, I wanted to take Judah apple picking for his first time. Little did I know that it wouldn’t be possible because this year there is no self-picking available due to the early frost on the crops. Bummer!
Although I was disappointed, I quickly cheered up when I found that my beloved Honeycrisp apples were still available despite the shortage. 🙂 Plus, how could I stay upset when there clearly wasn’t a shortage of donuts, either! We had a blast visiting orchards and their bakeries, along with picking out some pumpkins after a wagon ride. Hopefully I’ll find some time soon to write up a post about our visit and share some photos!
When we arrived back home to Mississippi, I immediately started missing the lovely colorful Michigan fall, but again, the Honeycrisp apples uplifted my spirits when I found them at my local grocery store. I’ve been snacking on them every day, and then whipped up this salad to take to a dinner party the other night.
You’ll love this combination of the spinach and apples with the toasted almonds. You might be tempted, though, to skip the greens and just eat the apple slices…or, the sugary toasted almonds. You have been warned.
Spinach Apple Salad with Crispy Almonds
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3 Tablespoons sugar , divided
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 bag (10 oz) baby spinach leaves
- 2 red-skinned apples , cored and sliced thin
- 1/2 lb Gouda cheese , sliced in small pieces
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together the onion, vinegars, sesame seeds and paprika. Stir in the 2 Tablespoons sugar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in the almonds and cook until the almonds begin to brown, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tablespoon sugar evenly over the almonds and toss until the sugar melts and begins to turn golden, about 2 more minutes. Transfer toasted almonds to a plate to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach leaves and sliced apples. Toss with just enough dressing to coat. Mix in the almonds and cheese. Serve the salad with the remaining dressing separately.
Source: Slightly adapted from Epicurious
Dressing and almonds can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover separately and let stand at room temperature.