For me, nothing says fall more than a hearty salad filled with gently roasted sweet onions and deep red fruits like grapes or apples, garnished with a light dressing of oil and vinegar, and a scattering of spicy-sweet roasted almonds. It's something I've turned to year-round, opting for roasted figs or apples when grapes aren't widely available.
I find that the best way to finish this dish is with a drizzle of syrupy balsamic vinegar, which is hard to find in the U.S. I swear by this product sold at O & Co., but an apple cider reduction works well, too. Simply bring 3 cups of cider to a boil, then reduce it over medium-low heat until it coats the back of a spoon, about 30 minutes.
Fall Spinach Salad with Spiced Nuts
3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, for the onions
Salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
3/4 cup roasted unsalted almonds
3 cups organic red grapes, rinsed and drained
One 4-ounce box baby spinach
Good-quality balsamic vinegar (see above)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Toss the onions, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1 teaspoon vinegar together on a lined cookie sheet. Roast for about 35 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the onions are tender. Set aside.
While the onions roast, combine the spices together in a large bowl (one that will be able to fit the spinach). Add the nuts and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss well and pour into a small baking dish. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes.
In another medium-sized baking dish, toss together grapes with a small drizzle of oil. Roast until the skins just burst, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
In the same bowl you tossed the nuts in, add in the spinach. Toss together with grapes. Toss well, add a drizzle of olive oil, and season to taste. Plate salad onto 4 plates. Garnish with onions and divide nuts equally amongst all 4 plates. Garnish with a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar. Serve.