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Warm Spinach Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Book clubs. Conversations about characters and choices and what is happening in your real lives. Or, if you read a memoir in which the writer describes a breakfast pancake topped with asparagus, shaved Gruyère, and a heavy pour of local syrup, conversation about how else you can indulge in savory cheese and sweet syrup balanced by a bit of green. My answer is spinach salad. For this to taste as it should, splurge on real maple syrup and go crazy with the Gruyère. This is their show and it is a warm, nutty, and deeply sweet one.

By / Photography By Emily Kaelin | September 15, 2015


Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. Add the shallots and cook gently, stirring often, until soft and nearly translucent, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar, Dijon, and maple syrup. Continue whisking over medium heat until the dressing thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning.

Place spinach and apple slices in a bowl and pour warm vinaigrette over. Toss lightly and then top with a very generous grating of Gruyère. Serve immediately.

Yields 4 servings


  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons best-quality maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 bunches (1½ pounds total) flat-leaf spinach, trimmed, cleaned, and dried
  • 1 large sweet fall apple (I like Honeycrisp), thinly sliced
  • 1 wedge Gruyère cheese, for grating
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