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Spinach-Watercress Salad with Candied Walnuts



  1. 1/2 cup walnut halves
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup water
  4. Salt
  5. 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon orange juice
  7. 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other mild vegetable oil
  8. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  9. 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  10. Freshly ground pepper
  11. 5 ounces baby spinach (8 loosely packed cups)
  12. 1 medium bunch watercress, tough stems discarded
  13. 2 plums, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  14. 1 crisp, tart apple—peeled, halved, cored and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  15. 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (about 2 ounces)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, combine the walnuts, sugar and water; bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the walnuts to a pie plate and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for 7 minutes, or until the nuts are fragrant and lightly caramelized. Let cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, orange juice, grapeseed oil, olive oil and sesame oil; season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the spinach with the watercress, plums, apple and Gruyère. Add the dressing, season with salt and pepper and toss. Scatter the walnuts on top and serve.