Spring Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese Dressing
- Spiced Pecans:
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup pecans
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Goat Cheese Dressing:
- 4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
In a small bowl combine the paprika, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat add the sugar and cook until all of the sugar is melted and light brown in color. Carefully whisk in the butter. Add the spice mix and turn off the heat. Add the pecans and stir with a rubber spatula until all of the pecans are completely coated. Spray with nonstick cooking spray which will help the pecans separate. Once all of the pecans are coated turn out onto a greased sheet tray or a sheet tray lined with a silicone mat. Break up any pieces that may be stuck together. Let cool 5 minutes before serving with the salad.
In a medium bowl whisk together the goat cheese and buttermilk. Whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients until combined and smooth. Set aside.
Heat the canola oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and fry until crispy and light brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
Add the greens to a large bowl. Drizzle with 3/4 of the dressing, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to coat the greens. Transfer the salad to a platter and garnish with candied pecans, sliced grapes, and fried shallots. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.