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Spinach Salad with Apple, Fennel and Creamy Hazelnut Vinaigrette

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Toast the hazelnuts by spreading them out in a single layer on a sheet pan and place in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until they start to brown. The skins on the hazelnuts will start to crack and they will smell divine. Allow them to cool and then place them on a clean dish towel. Gather up the hazelnuts in the towel and rub them against each other for 10-15 seconds to rub off the skins.

2. To make the vinaigrette place ¼ cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts, shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the walnut oil and continue to blend until dressing is smooth and creamy. Refrigerate.

3. To make the salad wash and dry the spinach. Tear spinach into bite size pieces and place into a large serving bowel. Cut the apple into 4 quarters and cut away the core. Clean and quarter the fennel. Using a mandolin slicer (this is the one I use) or a very sharp knife, shave the fennel and apple into paper-thin pieces. Peel the carrot, then using the peeler, cut long “ribbons” the length of the carrot. Add the shaved fennel, watercress, and carrot ribbons to the spinach. Toss gently to combine.

4. Place one cup of salad onto each plate and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Health Benefits

The fennel in this salad is known as a carminitive, a phenomenal food that decreases gas and bloating. So if your feeling like your muffin top is spilling out and bloating just won't go down, reach for this recipe!

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