I've been playing with these ingredients in my mind for a week. Tonight I decided it was time to try to make all the ideas work. I must say it turned out much better than I thought it would. In fact, I ate an embarrassingly large plate of this great salad. Loaded with fresh spinach, Granny Smith apples, super food blueberries and toasted pecans. The blue cheese was the crowing touch.
For the vinaigrette:
1 1/2 cup fresh (or frozen/thawed) Blueberries (plus 1/4 more for garnishing)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup honey
3 T. water
1 T. coarse grain Dijon Mustard
1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. granulated garlic
3/4 cup olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
For the dressing, add all ingredients except olive oil and shallots into a blender. Blend on slow speed for about a minute. Stop blender and scrape sides down with a spatula.
Turn blender on low speed and slowly add the olive oil into the blender. You will see the dressing begin to thicken with the addition of the olive oil. Remove top of blender and add minced shallots. Return the top of the blender and pulse a time or two.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Whisk well before using.
If you'd like some toasted pecans or walnuts on your salad (and who wouldn't?!?), place a half cup or so of chopped pecans or walnut in a dry skillet over low heat. Stir them gently and when you can smell the pecans after 5 minutes or so, they're nice and toasty. Set them aside while you get the salad ready.
Now let's assemble the salad:
Place a nice serving of prewashed baby spinach on a plate. Top each serving with crumbled blue cheese, toasted pecans, very thinly sliced Granny Smith apples and the remaining blueberries. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.