Maple and Pecan Salad

Looking festive and seasonal with pecans and pomegranate, this salad can be stretched by adding more greens. Some of our judges said the cayenne and ground pepper "snuck up" on them, but others found the heat just the right accent to spark up a holiday meal.

1 bag chopped romaine lettuce (or mixed greens, iceberg or spinach) [enough to feed your guests]
1 - 1 1/2 cups any type of fruit ( I use pomegranate because it looks pretty and festive)

1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic
1 small red onion
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon coarse mustard
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup oil

Blend all in food processor or blender. Drizzle in oil.

Spicy Pecans:
3 cups pecan halves
4 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons sugar

In 350° F oven, toast pecan halves for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir 1 or 2 times.
On stove, melt butter in saucepan and add sugar, salt and spices.
Add toasted pecans and cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Spread coated pecans on cookie sheet to dry.

Assemble salad:
Place salad greens in bowl, top with pecans and fruit.
Add salad dressing and serve.

Sue Barry


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