Whether you are trying to get in more veggies, eat healthier, or just explore fun ways to pair food and wine, our Maple Pecan Spring Salad with White Wine and Maple Vinaigrette is an ideal way to spice up your meal plan.
Add grilled chicken, or a shrimp skewer, and this is one healthy and delicious meal you will want to save to come back to time and time again.
We will be honest, sometimes salads can be really tricky to pair properly with wine. The reason? Most dressings have vinegar in them, which is acidic. This vinegar has a tendency to kill the fruity flavours in wine and make it taste dull and even bitter. Most salads, like this one also feature anti oxidant rich bitter greens... which also tend to make wine taste... off.
The solution? Pick a wine that is already very fruit driven, high in acid to match the acidity of the dressing, and even a little sweet to counteract the bitter flavours provoked by the greens.
Our favourite with this particular recipe is our Gewurztraminer. Unlike many other Gewurztraminer's this one is picked early to preserve acidity, and fermented to dry. It's fruit forward nose and palate of green apples and ginger play perfectly next to the goat cheese, pecans, fresh green grapes, and healthy kale in this particular recipe.
4 Cups of salad greens of choice
1 Cup of fresh Kale
3 Radishes thinly sliced
1 Carrot - grated
1 Cup fresh green grapes
1/2 Cup of candied nuts
For the Vinaigrette
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Dijoinnaise Creamy Mustard
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Freshly Cracked Pepper
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Candied Nuts
1 1/2 Cups of Pecans or nuts of your choice - walnuts or almonds also work well
1/4 Cup of Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
For the Vinaigrette:
Mix the wine, lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. This simple but delicious vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge in a glass jar for up to 2 weeks.
For the Candied Nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl combine sugar, salt and cayenne pepper
3. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Add the nuts and blanche them for 3 minutes. Drain well and then immediately roll the nuts in the sugar mixture until thoroughly coated. The sugar will melt slightly.
4. Transfer to a baking sheet or pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until they are a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.
Assemble the Salad!
1. In a large bowl combine your greens of choice, grapes, radishes, and carrots. Pour desired amount on dressing on and lightly toss.
2. Plate the salad and top with crumbled goat cheese and nuts as desired. Looking to add more protein? Top with sliced grilled chicken or prawns.