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Winter Salad with Spiced Maple Vinaigrette

Winter Salad with Spiced Maple Vinaigrette

This recipe was prepared by Chef Tammy Brawley on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Brawley, who holds a degree in culinary arts and owns The Green Kitchen in Richmond, Va., shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Winter Salad with Spiced Maple Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ cinnamon stick
2 whole allspice berries
1 small clove
1 whole star anise
½ teaspoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup pumpkin or walnut oil
½ each: acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound pecan halves
5 ounces salad mix or lettuce of choice
5 ounces frisee, torn into bite-sized pieces


In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the syrup, cinnamon, allspice, clove, star anise, ginger and 1 tablespoon water. Simmer on low to infuse the flavors and thicken slightly, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until it’s fully emulsified. Or, you can place the vinegar mixture and oil in a mason jar, and shake until well mixed.

Roasted vegetables:

Preheat oven to 425°.

Microwave squash halves 3-5 minutes, and remove the seeds. Place squashes cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast approximately 20-30 minutes. Cut acorn squash into slices, scrape spaghetti squash out of its skin, and dice the butternut squash into cubes. Set aside.

Candied nuts:

Preheat oven to 250°. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg white with 1 tablespoon water until frothy. In another large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and salt.

Add pecans to the egg white mixture, stirring to coat well. Mix the coated pecans into the sugar mixture. Coat well.

Place pecans onto sheet pan and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool before using.

In a large bowl, toss salad greens with vinaigrette until moistened. Divide salad mix onto four plates, top each with squash and nuts.