201606014This recipe comes from Food & Drink magazine (Holiday 2016). You’re supposed to bake the nut mixture for about 20 – 22 minutes total but I use a little toaster oven and bake for half that time or the nuts burn. I sometimes throw in pear or apple slices and change up the nut combination depending on what I have on hand. Either way, it’s truly delicious and you can eat the nut mixture as a sweet snack.

NUTS & FRUIT (makes 4 cups)

  • 1/2 cup each of pine nuts, coarsely chopped hazelnuts, sliced or slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp hot-smoked or regular paprika
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries

SALAD

  • 12 to 16 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)

Combine all the nuts in a large bowl (leave cranberries aside for now). Mix olive oil with maple syrup, brown sugar, salt and paprika in a small saucepan; place over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until hot, but not boiling.

Pour hot mixture over nuts and seeds; toss until coated. Turn out onto parchment-paper- lined, rimmed baking sheet; spread out in a thin layer. Bake 5 – 10 minutes (depending on the oven you’re using) then stir and spread out again. Bake another 5 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cranberries; cool.

Break up fruit and nut mixture into small clusters; store sealed in canning jars. Mixture keeps well for a month if stored airtight.

When ready to serve, place greens in a large salad bowl. Whisk oil with vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad to taste; toss. Sprinkle with some nut mixture and serve right away. Any remaining vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator.

salad serves 8 – 10