Tested till perfect Spinach and Apple Salad with Dragon's Breath Cheese Vinaigrette

Spinach and Apple Salad with Dragon's Breath Cheese Vinaigrette

Chef Craig Stelmack makes Maple's outstanding spinach salad, crunchy with hot allspice-roasted walnuts, salty and smoky with strips of crisp bacon, sweet and fresh with apples, and dressed and garnished with really stinky blue cheese. It's an adult salad, but beware: it's addictive.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: April 2003

Recipe5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.
  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Portion size 6 to 8


  • 6 slices 6sliceslean smoky bacon
  • 2 2appleapples
  • 1 pkg 1pkg(10 oz/284 g) fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup 1/4cupcrumbled blue cheese

Spiced Walnuts

  • 1 1egg whiteegg whites
  • 1/4 cup 1/4cuppacked brown sugar
  • 1 tsp 1tspground allspice
  • 1 tsp 1tsphot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tspsalt
  • 1-1/2 cups 1-1/2cupswalnut halfwalnut halves


  • 1/2 cup 1/2cup10% cream
  • 1/4 cup 1/4cuppacked blue cheese
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspwhite wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspextra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp 1tbspliquid honey
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tspsalt
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tsppepper
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Spiced Walnuts: In bowl, beat egg white until soft peaks form. Whisk in sugar, allspice, hot pepper sauce and salt. Add nuts; toss to coat evenly.

Spread evenly on parchment paper-lined or greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven, stirring and separating twice, until butterscotch brown and crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool; break into pieces, if desired. (Make-ahead: Store in loosely covered container for up to 2 days.)

Vinaigrette: In food processor or blender, whirl together cream, blue cheese, vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper until smooth. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days; rewhisk before using.)

Cut bacon crosswise into 1/2-inch (1 cm) strips. Fry in skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain and pat dry on paper towels. Core and dice 1 of the apples; core and thinly slice second apple.

In large bowl, toss together spinach, diced apple, bacon, 1 cup (250 mL) of the walnuts and vinaigrette. In same bowl or on salad plates, garnish with apple slices, remaining walnuts and crumbled cheese.

Nutritional Information Per each of 8 servings: about

cal 315 pro 9g total fat 24g sat. fat 5g
carb 19g fibre 3g chol 18mg sodium 435mg

% RDI:

calcium 13 iron 14 vit A 28 vit C 20
folate 43
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