Goat cheese & spiced walnuts salad with a zesty mustard vinaigrette
Being out of town this week has really thrown my diet and eating schedule for a loop. While I love to go out of town and go on vacation, I always end up splurging and eating like a cow. What can I say? I’m a foodie and I love trying new places to eat. That’s actually one of my favorite parts of going on vacation or out of town: eating, haha
I really have some clean eating to do this month..or what’s left of this month. And what better than to stuff my face with greens, goat cheese, and walnuts? Oh, oh, I forgot about the amazing salad dressing that is paired with this healthy salad. Homemade salad dressing is so much better than store bought..and it lasts FOREVER. Well, for a LONG time. But, for me, when I made this, it didn’t last very long. I brought it to work and kept it in the fridge here and used it every day. It’s so flavorful and I loved how easy it was to make.
Did I mention that this salad dressing also congeals pretty badly the longer you have it? Haha, mine ended up looking like cholesterol in a jar or fat in a jar. But no worries, nothing wrong with it, I stuck mine on the heater at work (yeah, our heaters are STILL ON) and it un-congealed and it was all liquid gold again. Liquid gold, mmmmm.
Nuts. Who doesn’t like nuts? Specifically spiced nuts. Spiced walnuts. It smelled like Christmas in my house. Who doesn’t love Christmas in May? Haha, it was kind of weird, I have to admit. I felt like I was walking the streets of NYC and smelling those fragrant nuts.
ANYWAY. I know I’m going off on crazy tangents right now. I’m trying to listen in on a conference call while trying to write about a salad. I hope I don’t say nuts or liquid gold during this call..
- For the salad:
- 2 cups pre-washed baby spinach
- 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- For the dressing:
- 2 tsp. garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. shallots, minced
- 2 tbsp. grainy dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. dried parsley
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese
- For the spiced walnuts:
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 5 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Place salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- In mason jar, add in all the ingredients for the salad dressing and shake vigorously.
- For the spiced walnuts, in a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Then melt butter in a microwave safe bowl then add in walnuts and stir to coat. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Pour the nut mixture on parchment paper and spread out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes.
- To assemble the salad, add walnuts on the spinach and goat cheese. Using a spoon, spoon on dressing to desired amount.
- Keep salad dressing in the refrigerator when done.