Sara Moulton's Arugula Salad With Goat Cheese

Course : Salads
Serves: 6
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1/3 cup pecans -- chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne -- or to taste
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups washed and spun dry arugula
1/4 pound aged goat cheese -- coarsely grated
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Preparation / Directions:

To make the praline: In a bowl stir together pecans, salt, and cayenne. In a dry, small heavy skillet or saucepan cook sugar over moderate heat, stirring with a fork, until melted. Cook, without stirring or swirling the skillet or pan, until a golden caramel. Add pecan mixture and stir to coat nuts with caramel. Spoon praline onto a sheet of foil and cool. Transfer praline to a cutting board and chop fine. To make the dressing: In a bowl whisk together mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in the oil in a stream. To make the salad: In a large bowl, toss arugula, goat cheese, cranberries, praline and enough of the dressing to just coat the leaves.

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