Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad with Sliced Apples and Spiced Caramelized Pecans

Total Time:
15 min
15 min

4 servings

  • 1 apple, chilled
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 8 ounces spinach, washed, thoroughly dried, and stemmed
  • 1 small head (about 3 ounces) radicchio, cut into chiffonade
  • 5 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup Spago House Dressing, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 cups Spiced Caramelized Pecans, recipe follows
  • Spago House Salad Dressing:
  • 2 large shallots, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons zinfandel vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Spiced Caramelized Pecans:
  • 3 cups peanut oil
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • Cut the apple into quarters, remove the stem and the seeds, and cut into very thin slices. Sprinkle lemon juice over the slices and set aside.

  • When ready to serve, in a salad bowl, combine the apple, spinach, radicchio, and blue cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper and toss with the dressing. Adjust seasoning, to taste.

  • To serve, divide the salad among 4 plates and sprinkle the pecans around each salad.

Spago House Salad Dressing:
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots and the mustard. Whisk in the vinegars, and then the olive and vegetable oils. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed.

  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups

  • Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Adventures in the Kitchen", Random House, 1991

Spiced Caramelized Pecans:
  • In a deep-fryer or a deep pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees F. (A deep-frying thermometer can be clipped to the side of the pan so that you can tell when the proper temperature has been reached).

  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the pecans and boil for 2 minutes. Drain in a large strainer, shaking off all excess water. Sprinkle the salt and cayenne pepper over the nuts and then coat with the confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, allowing the sugar to melt into the pecans. Toss the nuts by shaking the strainer, adding a little more sugar each time, until all the sugar is used and all the nuts are coated. Do not use hands or a spoon to toss. The nuts should have a glaze of sugar.

  • Carefully add the nuts to the heated oil, keeping the oil at 350 degrees F. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon to a baking tray to cool.

  • Yield: 2 cups

  • Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Pizza, Pasta & More!," Random House, 2000

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