1 apple, peeled and small diced (I used a Honey Crisp)
1 medium shallot, small diced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below)
2 tsp. honey
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the honey, salt, pepper, garlic and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly. Taste, adjust with more salt, pepper or oil if necessary. Store until ready to use.
To make the salad, place the spinach in a large stainless steel bowl and set aside. Fill a straight-sided sauté pan with one inch of water and heat until just barely simmering. If the raisins are very dry and shriveled, place them in a bowl and cover with some boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes until nicely plumped, drain and set aside.
In a medium-sized sauté pan, heat 2 tsp. of the olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is barely smoking, add apples and sauté until nicely golden brown, but still hold their shape, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer apples to bowl with spinach.
Heat remaining teaspoon of oil in pan, add shallots and sauté until soft and slightly caramelized, another 3-5 minutes. Add the pine nuts and the drained raisins and sauté for 15 seconds more, then transfer to the bowl with the spinach.
Toss the spinach mixture with the 2 tablespoons of dressing and place bowl over pan with simmering water. Increase the heat to high and with tongs, gently toss spinach in bowl until nicely wilted. Serve immediately. Enjoy!