Recipe courtesy of Wolfgang Puck

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

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 15 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

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

Directions

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. To serve, divide the salad among 4 plates and sprinkle the pecans around each salad.

Spago House Salad Dressing:

  1. 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. 
  2. Yield: 1 1/4 cups 
  3. Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Adventures in the Kitchen", Random House, 1991

Spiced Caramelized Pecans:

  1. 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). 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Yield: 2 cups 
  5. Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Pizza, Pasta & More!," Random House, 2000
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