Strawberry Spinach Salad with Candied Almonds

We have about 17 different types of nuts in the house right now, so I decided to play around with the almonds. Here’s what I’m eating for lunch today:

For a few short hours each day this weekend, we had fleeting, bright and beautiful sunlight. I took advantage of the situation and shot this photo on the picnic table in my backyard. I hope I can do that more often. I was out of direct sun, but the colors are just so incredible in the 100% natural light, with no pesky roofs above you.

I don’t remember the last time I ate a salad that didn’t have a some kind of fruit/feta/blue cheese combination. If it ain’t broke…

Here’s what you need.

Salad:

  • Two good handfuls of spinach, washed and de-stemmed
  • 3-4 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 oz. feta, crumbed
  • 1/4 cup candied almonds
  • Balsamic vinegar

Candied almonds:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup water

For the candied almonds, heat the oven to 350 and toast the almonds for about five minutes. Then, heat the sugar, cinnamon and water together in a saucepan until it boils.

Add the almonds, and stir frequently. Let almost all of the water boil out of the syrup. There should be big bubbles and barely any liquid left. Transfer the candied almonds to a baking sheet covered in a nonstick silicone sheet. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Try not to eat them all ahead of time! 🙂

Add to the remaining ingredients, and dress in the tiniest bit of balsamic vinegar. If you want to do more to dress it, I suggest a blend of balsamic vinegar, salt, and olive oil. maybe a teensy bit of honey mustard. Use a whisk to combine.

1 Comment »

  1. Have you tried making candied almonds with hot sauce in the syrup, or rich flavored vinegar? I really love using a raspberry balsamic in the sugar, or a bright citrus white balsamic, to add extra oomph. Gorgeous lunch!

    Comment by Lauren — April 2, 2012 @ 9:57 am

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