Spinach, walnuts and goat cheese served with a warm maple Dijon and walnut vinaigrette.
To start the vinigrette, first puree the shallot and garlic. Then add the Dijon and pulse briefly. Next, add the vinegar, maple syrup, grape seed oil, salt and pepper and blend to combine.
Note: You can substitute half of the grapeseed oil with extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.
This vinaigrette will keep well in the refrigerator for several days.
To assemble the salad, first clean and dry the spinach. Clean the mushrooms and trim off the ends. Thinly slice. The mushrooms can either be added to the salad raw or they can sautéed first, if you prefer. Likewise, for the walnuts, they can either be toasted first or they can be added to the salad raw. Either way, just give them a rough chop.
Next, heat the vinaigrette over low heat. As the vinaigrette warms up, crumble the goat cheese over the salad. Once the vinaigrette has just warmed through, pour it over the salad and gently toss. Lastly, taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
This salad is at its best right after it has been tossed so be sure to serve it immediately.
The warm dressing slightly melts the goat cheese, coating the mushrooms and spinach.