Candied Pecan Salad | Day 23 of 31 Days of Salad

posted on: Monday, January 23, 2012

Today my friend Natalie Norton is going to show us how to make a candied pecan salad. Natalie says she's not a cook, but if you've ever met Natalie you know that Natalie can be anything she wants to be. She is exceptional. She is inspiring. She is so authentic. I love her work, the photography, the writing, the resources. She is pure, pure, fantastic. You can also follow her on twitter and Facebook.

First things first, I'm not a cook. I'm not a chef. I'm not a baker. . . person. BUT it's not because I'm not good at it, and it's certainly NOT because my mom didn't fight me tooth and nail trying to teach me basic proficiency. I don't know the right way to chop an onion, I never follow a recipe and I eyeball everything (I use my tablespoon measure for shoveling peanut butter into my mouth, what?). One thing I do know?? And this salad is IT, with a capital I * T.

Candied Pecan Salad

Ingredients (all to taste) 
Grapes (substitute crasins if you'd like) 
Feta Cheese (substitute blue cheese if you prefer) 
Red Onion 
Candied Pecans (don't know how to candy a pecan? easiest trick EVER. see directions at the end of this post.) 
Dark Leafy Greens (or spinach) 
Dressing 1 Packet Good Season's Zesty Italian (don't try any substitution, Zesty Italian will win, hands down) 

Prepare dressing according to recipe on the packet and then add 2 TBSP (if you're into measurements or something) sugar Shake, shake, shake, pour, toss, serve, swoon.

Then, if you want to win wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend of the year, you wrap it up with a bow and take it to your love who's working late. Yes, that's my plan, and since you can't see the note, you should know, it's addressed to "Sexy Face" (because he totally has one).

Be sure to whip up some extra candied pecans to munch on, because they're HEAVENLY. Speaking of which. . .

How Natalie Candies A Pecan 
(Alternate title: the ghetto version of the real way to candy a pecan, but it still works perfectly well, so why go to all the trouble of doing it any differently?)

1. Place pecans in frying pan over medium heat (stirring regularly—they burn so fast, be sure to pay attention). 
2. Once the pecan begins to give off fragrance, sprinkle a couple of spoon fulls of sugar (appx 1 TBSP depending on how many pecans you're making) over the nuts. 
3. Change to LOW heat and stir, stir, stir until the sugar crystalizes. 
4. Place on a plate to cool (or they'll all stick together). 


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