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Sweet and Spicy Autumn Salad

Sweet and Spicy Autumn Salad

I love simple flavors, but I also adore an explosion. This jumble of sweet, salty, spicy, and nutty in a tangle of peppery greens leaves me swooning. We may not be inventing the wheel here—the fruit/nuts/cheese salad has been around for a while—but this arugula salad with pears, gorgonzola, spicy caramelized walnuts and maple-Dijon vinaigrette
has a few twists (like cayenne and maple) that make it stand out from the crowd.

For the Dressing
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

For the Walnuts
1 cup walnuts
Splash of olive oil
1 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon maple sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Generous pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste

For the Salad
10 cups loosely packed arugula
2 pears, peeled and thinly sliced
3 ounces gorgonzola

1. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until combined.
2. Preheat oven to 325 F.
3. Wipe a baking sheet with olive oil.
4. Combine walnuts and remaining walnut ingredients in a bowl and mix to coat.
5. Spread nut mixture on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until nuts are deep golden and bubbling, stirring occasionally.
6. Add arugula, pears, gorgonzola and walnuts to large bowl and toss with some dressing. The dressing is strong so a little goes a long way.

Serves 4 to 6.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Soups & Salads, , , , , ,

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

3 comments

+ add your own
12:07PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

Thanks.

1:01AM PST on Jan 29, 2010

Wrote down this recipe, cannot wait to try it out...sounds good doesn't it..Anyway I love salad of all kinds. Thanks for the article.
location villa bali

2:06PM PDT on Oct 13, 2007

Thanks for sharing this lovely salad. Haven't tried this version yet but I made several times what I would call the fraternal twin to this recipe. using baby spinach, candied pecan with cayenne and goat or ricotta cheese and my family and friends just love it.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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