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Rex Goliath Wines
Spinach Salad

Rex Goliath Chardonnay

Spinach Salad with Persimmons and Spicy Pecans

Wine Pairing: Rex Goliath Chardonnay

Ingredients

Pecans

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup pecans, lightly toasted
4 cups canola oil

Salad

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
2 ripe Fuyu persimmons (can substitute pears or dried fruit), sliced lengthwise
1 pomegranate, seeded (optional)
1/2 pound arugula (can substitute watercress or spinach)

Vinaigrette

1 Tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Preheat: oven to 350°F.

Pecans: Mix the powdered sugar, cayenne, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil; add pecans and boil 5 seconds only. Drain and immediately toss thoroughly in the sugar and spice mixture.

Heat canola oil in a frying pan to 325°F. (If the oil gets too hot, the sugar coating will burn and falloff). Lift the nuts out of the sugar mixture with a skimmer and fry the nuts until golden and crisp, about 30 seconds. Drain nuts on a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet. (Do not use paper towels, as the pecans will stick.) Between batches, skim the dark bits that float to the surface of the oil.

Vinaigrette: Mix the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, shallots, sugar, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Slowly pour in the oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify.

Prosciutto: Separate the prosciutto and lay flat on a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Let cool on rack so the fat will drain. Crumble into bite-size pieces.

Persimmon and Pomegranate: Slice the persimmons/pears into thin wedges, lengthwise. Cut the pomegranate in half (take care to watch for the red juices). Immerse the pomegranate in water. Hit the pomegranate with the back of a wooden spoon to release all the seeds. The membrane will float to the top. Skim off the membrane and then pour the seeds and water through a strainer. Measure 1/2 cup of seeds. Reserve the rest for another use.

Salad: Wash, spin dry and trim the greens if necessary.

To serve: Toss the persimmon slices in a bit of the vinaigrette and set aside. Then toss the greens in the vinaigrette and arrange on plates. Place the persimmons on top, sprinkle with pomegranate and garnish with the pecans, and prosciutto.

Serves 8