Simple Baked Apple-Spinach Salad
Take advantage of all the wonderful fall apples with a great baked apple salad. The apples can bake alongside whatever else you have in the oven and will make an unusual and incredibly good topping for crisp spinach greens. The apples soften in the oven and release their juices, which will give you the base for a simple dressing to drizzle over the apples and spinach. I often sprinkle the apples with goat cheese, but feta or blue cheese also work quite well. This is a perfect salad for fall, especially when good tomatoes are hard to find or expensive. If you'd like additional color and flavor, feel free to sprinkle on some dried cranberries before serving. They'll help dress up the salad.
Simple Baked Apple Salad -- Serves 2-4
2-3 apples, peeled and sliced into sixths or eighths (sixths for small apples, eighths
for large apples)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of butter
2-3 tablespoons of chopped or broken walnuts
2-3 tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese
2 teaspoons of low-fat mayonnaise
4 cups of spinach leaves (preferably baby leaves), washed and torn
Spritz a small baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the apples in the baking dish and drizzle them with the lemon juice. Sprinkle on the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot the apples with the butter. Sprinkle on the walnuts. Spritz the top of the walnuts with a bit of non-stick cooking spray. Bake the apples until softened--20-30 minutes. Let the apples cool until warm. Place the spinach on plates and arrange the apples and walnuts on top of the spinach (saving the juices in the bottom of the baking dish). Sprinkle the goat cheese on top of the apples and walnuts. Whisk the mayonnaise into the juices left in the baking dish until thoroughly combined. Drizzle the mixture over the salads and serve.