Spinach and blue cheese salad with apple cider vinaigrette is a very simple salad relying on high-quality ingredients to create a salad that is rich in flavor, texture and presentation. Combining sweet and savory ingredients, this salad is complex yet familiar and satisfying. Serve with a loaf of hot Italian or ciabatta bread with herb butter before a bowl of spiced pumpkin or fennel soup. Serve with a glass of crisp chilled white wine with just a hint of sweet fruit flavor.
Combine the apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and tbsp. room temperature water. Stir in the shallots and set aside until needed.
Put the sunflowers seeds in a large dry sauté pan. Toast the sunflower seeds over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes and remove from the pan. Transfer to a small bowl to stop the cooking process and cool.
Place the spinach, apple slices, crumbled blue cheese and sunflower seeds in a large mixing bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette and cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
Transfer the salad to a large serving platter or individual serving plates and scatter the whole walnuts over the top before serving.