This salad is perfect. AND the curried cashews make outstanding appetizers, garnishes, snacks or gifts; the honey-sesame dressing can be used on any number of salads. The contrast of colors, flavors and textures is inspired. Tom Douglas is chef and owner of 4 Seattle eateries and this salad has been on his menu.
- 3⁄4 cup cashews (about 3 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- coarse salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil or 1⁄2 cup peanut oil
- 1⁄2 lb smoky thick slab bacon (about twelve 1/4" thick slices)
- 12 cups loosely packed spinach leaves, no stems,torn to bite-size
- 6 cups loosely packed frisee, torn to bite-size
- 2⁄3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 small pears, halved,cored,thinly sliced
- 6 bunches grapes, small for garnish
- Curried Cashews: Preheat oven to 400°; toast cashews on baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until golden; combine remaining ingredients; add hot cashews, toss until coated; set aside to cool.
- Honey-Sesame Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients and whisk until emulsified.
- Salad: Cut bacon into 1/2" pieces and cook until crisp.
- Put greens, onions and sliced pears in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat everything well.
- Place salad on six plates; sprinkle each with bacon and curried cashews; garnish with cluster of grapes placed at the side of each plate.
Loved it! My husband doesn't usually like Spinach salad, but he had two servings of this one. I actually omitted the bacon and added a few cubes of cambozola cheese. It was a nice addition with the pear. The dressing is to die for and I will be using it for other salads more often!
WOW!! When I saw Geema's review of this salad I HAD to try it and we were not dissappointed. WE LOVED IT!!! I did use bacon and I think it's a must for an added dimension. I couldn't come up with slab bacon so I bought the thickest cut I could find. We're thinkin' this salad is getting served the next time we host our gourmet dinner club. Thanks so much for sharing.
Wonderful salad! I think the seasoned nuts make it outstanding, although I used pecans. I'm sure it's wonderful as is, but for my own reference, I made these substitutions: apples, not pears. Regular yellow mustard, no rosemary on the nuts, no frisee.