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Spinach-Watercress Salad with Candied Walnuts

slideshow Terrific Green Salads

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other mild vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (8 loosely packed cups)
  • 1 medium bunch watercress, tough stems discarded
  • 2 plums, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 crisp, tart apple—peeled, halved, cored and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 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.
Contributed By Published February 2003

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