01/10/2018 Bleu Salad with Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Bleu Salad with Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Recipe Courtesy of Cindy Schumacher

Sweet and Spicy Pecans:
¼ cup sugar
1 cup warm water
1 cup pecan halves
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

Salad:
12 oz. salad greens
2 to 4 oz. bleu cheese, crumbled
1 pint fresh pears or fresh seasonal fruit

Dijon Vinaigrette:
½ cup fig vinegar or balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. honey
2 small shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 cup olive oil

For the pecans, dissolve ¼ cup sugar in the warm water in a bowl and mix well. Stir in the pecans. Let stand for 10 minutes: drain. Combine 2 Tbsp. sugar, chili powder and red pepper in a bowl and mix well. Add the pecans and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, stirring once. Let stand until cool. Should be prepared one day in advance and stored in an airtight container. You may chill or freeze the pecans for up to 1 week.

For the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil. May be prepared one day in advance. Cover and store in refrigerator.

For the salad, toss the salad greens with the vinaigrette and bleu cheese in a salad bowl. Top with strawberries and sprinkle with the pecans.