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Spinach salad with spiced nuts and blue cheese

December 23, 2009

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Serves 4

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup almonds
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces baby spinach, stems trimmed
Balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe)
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the walnuts, pecans, and almonds for 6 minutes or until they begin to brown.

3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, rosemary, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir well until the butter melts.

4. Add the nuts to the butter and stir to coat them evenly. Spread the nuts on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and toast them for 6 minutes more or until lightly golden. Leave to cool.

5. In a salad bowl, toss the spinach with enough of the vinaigrette to moisten it lightly. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Top with spiced nuts and crumbled blue cheese. Adapted from “A Way of Living’’