- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 pound sliced bacon
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup cooking oil
- 2/3 pound smoked and sliced boneless chicken breast
- 1 pound spinach, stems removed, leaves washed (about 9 cups)
- 1 small red onion, chopped fine
- 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Heat the oven to 350°. Toast the walnuts until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
- In a large frying pan, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and then crumble it.
- In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the oil.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the dressing with the chicken. Let sit for about 5 minutes so that the chicken absorbs the dressing. Add the walnuts, bacon, spinach, onion, apple, and the remaining dressing and toss.
Warm garlic bread, served either plain or with a little Parmesan cheese, goes well with all the flavors here.
This substantial fall salad, with its hearty flavors, will taste great with a Beaujolais or, for something off the beaten path, a fruity Pinotage from South Africa. In either case, chill the bottle for fifteen minutes or so before serving.