Spinach Salad with Pears, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts
Makes 6 servings. Difficulty
2/3 cup hazelnuts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon stone ground mustard Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and stemmed 1/3 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds 2 firm but ripe Bosc pears, cored and sliced thin
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts on the baking sheet or pie pan and toast for about 15 minutes or until the skins are blistered and the nuts are fragrant. Remove the baking pan from the oven and cover the nuts with a clean towel. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Rub the hazelnuts vigorously with a clean kitchen towel to remove the skins. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and set aside.
Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and stone ground mustard together until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the spinach, onions, and pears in a big salad bowl. Pour half the dressing over the greens and toss. Taste the greens to make sure they have enough dressing, add the remaining dressing if necessary - you don’t want them drenched, just nicely coated. Arrange the salad on salad plates and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts. Serve immediately.