walnut & goat cheese salad

I'm kind-of picky about my salad dressings - I like them to have lots of flavour and I don't often like creamy & heavy dressings (like ranch).  I usually just go with a drizzle of olive oil and some type of vinegar, either balsamic, apple cider, red cider....but that can get old after a little while.  For some reason I'd never tried making an emulsified dressing before (maybe I thought it would be hard or something) but my friend makes them all the time and I'm always a little jealous when she pulls out a little container of light, creamy homemade dressing to pour over her salad at work.  With a few tips from Caitlin I was inspired to try it out myself.  The most important part is to add the oil at the end, whatever kind of mustard, vinegar combo you try.  This recipe was seriously so easy and I'm looking forward to all the possibilities for future salads.

Walnut Oil Dressing

  • 1 tbsp minced shallot (about one small one)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tbsp walnut oil

In a small bowl mix the shallot, mustard, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  Whisk the mixture as you slowly pour in the oil - this will help it emulsify into a creamy dressing.

Walnut & Goat Cheese Salad

  • about 8 cups of washed & dried baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

I like to start by pouring the dressing into the bottom of my salad bowl.  Then add the spinach in and toss it to coat the leaves.  Sprinkle the walnuts and goat cheese on top and serve it up.

Recipe adapted from: Foodnetwork.com