Swiss Chard (or Kale or Spinach) Salad with Candied Pecans

I’ve posted other recipes using Swiss chard when baking, but here is a great Swiss Chard salad recipe. When I lived in Alaska, I had a delicious salad at the Alaskan Brewhouse in Anchorage that included blue cheese, candied pecans and grape pieces over a chunk of iceberg lettuce. I used those same key ingredients, my own dressing and fresh, and whatever greens I have in season (usually Swiss Chard),  to come up with this crowd pleasing, healthy adaptation.

Dressing:

½ cup olive oil

1/4 balsamic vinegar

1 T. mustard

1 t. dried oregano

A little salt & pepper to taste

I added a little stevia to mine to balance the balsamic vinegar. You could add sugar, maple syrup or the sweetener of your choice, but be sure to add it a VERY little at a time and taste it. Some times I don’t add it at all.

Candied Pecans:

1 large egg white

3 cups pecan pieces

1 T. cinnamon

2 t. vanilla

1/3 sugar

¼ t. salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Whisk egg white in a cup. Place nuts in a bowl and pour egg white over them. Mix until well coated. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon, vanilla, sugar and salt. Add the cinnamon mixture to nuts and stir very well. Spread nuts on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and break apart.

Salad:

6 ounces fresh Swiss chard, spinach, kale, loose leaf lettuce or a combination of any of these.

¼-1/3 cup of dressing

1 cup pecan pieces

1 ½ cups diced grapes

½ cup blue cheese pieces

Pour dressing onto leaves. If using Swiss chard, spinach or kale, you will want to massage the dressing into the leaves. This will help soften them a little. You DON’T want to massage loose leaf lettuce as it is too delicate.

Add pecan pieces, grapes and blue cheese. I like to leave it layered on top, and not mix it in. The heavy toppings seem to fall to the bottom if you do that and you don’t get a good mixture of all of it.

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