Apple Almond Spinach Salad | Meatland

SALAD
Baby spinach leaves OR baby leaves
1 large green, red or pink apple, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup pomegranate jewels
1/2 cup dried cranberries

TOPPING (SEE ALTERNATIVES IN NOTES)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Large pinch salt (Maldon is my first choice)

DRESSING
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar*
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt (Maldon is best naturally)
1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional but great)

1: Mix almonds with honey, oil and salt to coat nuts then place on baking tray and bake - stirring occasionally to brown on all sides - at 150 C for 15 to 20 minutes till lightly golden and shiny.
2: Combine all dressing ingredients - apart from poppy seeds - and process briefly then stir in seeds if using. You can also shake dressing in a jar till creamy if preferred.
3: Combine spinach/baby leaves and apple slices and drizzle over 1/4 cup of dressing to prevent apples browning then top with dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds and nuts and toss with remaining dressing when serving.

COOK'S NOTES: My favorite seed & nut topping can replace caramelized almonds. Combine sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds and uncooked '5 minute instant noodles' with a few spoons of sugar and a pinch of salt and bake till sugar has melted and coated mixture. See image. You can use any store-bought caramelized nut too. Topping can be prepared a day in advance as can dressing. White wine or red wine vinegar can replace apple cider vinegar and silan can replace honey. You can't go wrong really.