Saturday, August 23, 2008

Apple Pecan Salad With Cinnamon Bread Croutons

This is the perfect fall salad.  Scott told me that if he ordered this in a restaurant he would feel sorry for anyone who didn't because he wouldn't share.  Next time I am going to spray the cinnamon bread cubes with cooking spray and toast them in the oven instead of sauteing them in the pan.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups cinnamon swirl bread, cut into 1" cubes
4 strips bacon, diced
1/3 cup apple juice concentrate
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
1/4 cups pecans (we prefer walnuts), chopped, toasted
2 cups apples (your favorite variety) thinly sliced
2 head butter lettuce, torn

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add bread cubes, stir to coat, and saute until toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often.  Transfer croutons to a bowl and set aside, return skillet to the burner.

Saute bacon until crisp, then drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Pour off and reserve 1 tablespoon drippings.

Whisk drippings, juice concentrate, oil, vinegar, cinnamon, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne together in a bowl.  Stir in pecans (or walnuts).

Toss apple slices, lettuce, bacon, and croutons with vinaigrette in a large bowl to coat, sprinkle with salt.

Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. I made this for lunch at work the other day. It was a huge hit. I tried to save time by slicing the apples in the food processor, and they were limp. I would slice by hand next time for more crunch. I baked the croutons, and they were fantastic! Yummy yummy salad!