Arugula Salad with Maple & Spice Candied Pecans


If you are looking for the ultimate fall salad, this is it! I use fresh baby arugula as the base of the salad and I top it with seasonal garnishes: red grapes, Parmesan shavings, and my Maple & Spice Candied Pecans. As for the dressing, I keep it simple and tart to balance out the sweetness from the grapes and candied pecans. With these simple ingredients, you can create fall on a plate!


Servings: 4

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time:  10 minutes   |   Cook Time: 10 minutes   |   Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

Maple & Spice Candied Pecans:

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

Salad:

  • 6 cups fresh baby arugula
  • 3/4 cup red grapes, sliced in half
  • 12 large shavings Parmesan cheese

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Begin by making the candied pecans. In a non-stick pan, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, water, cinnamon, ginger, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Place the pan on the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Cook until the brown sugar is fully dissolved, about 3-4 minutes and the sugar is bubbling.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the pecan halves. Toss the pecan halves in the sugar mixture to fully coat the pecans. Once fully coated, sprinkle the pecans with the white sugar and toss to coat one more time.

Remove the pecans from the pan and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Separate the pecans so they are not touching each other and let cool for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Next, make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.

Place the arugula in a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing on top of the arugula and toss to coat the leaves. Place the dressed salad on a serving plate. Garnish with the spiced grapes, candied pecans and Parmesan shavings. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!