While I am an unabashed fan of root vegetables and slow-simmered foods, I’m not quite ready to surrender to the cooling weather. There will be time enough for soups, stews and other seasonal delights, so in the meantime, I’m still trying to hang on to the bright, fresh tastes of summer a little longer. This salad offers pleasing flavours and textures and takes just moments to prepare. The dressing and candied almonds can easily be prepared a day or two in advance of serving; I usually make a double batch of both as they store well. If you’re a fan of goat cheese, it’d be lovely crumbled on top.
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) water
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) maple syrup, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) paprika
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) raspberry wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) grated or finely minced onion
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) Dijon
- few grinds each fresh salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) canola or vegetable oil
- 8 cups (2 L) baby spinach
- 2 cups (500 mL) fresh raspberries
- To make the candied almonds, line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Put sugar and water in a small, heavy-bottomed frying pan or medium saucepan.
- Dissolve sugar over medium heat, stirring often.
- Add almonds and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the moisture in the pan evaporates and the sugar begins to adhere to the almonds.
- Continue cooking just until almonds are beginning to turn golden and starting to stick together.
- Transfer almonds to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- To make dressing, combine maple syrup, paprika, raspberry vinegar, chopped onion, Dijon, salt and pepper in a medium jar with a tight lid. Shake to blend well.
- Add oil and shake again. Store at room temperature for up to 6 hours or refrigerate for up to 10 days.
- Assemble salad by placing washed, dried baby spinach leaves in a serving bowl. Drizzle with dressing (you may not need it all) and toss well.
- Top with washed, dried raspberries and candied almonds and serve immediately.