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Apple Pecan Salad With Cinnamon Bread Croutons

This is the perfect fall salad. Scott told me that if he ordered this in a restaurant he would feel sorry for anyone who didn’t because he wouldn’t share. Next time I am going to spray the cinnamon bread cubes with cooking spray and toast them in the oven instead of sauteing them in the pan.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cups cinnamon swirl bread, cut into 1″ cubes
4 strips bacon, diced
1/3 cup apple juice concentrate
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
1/4 cups pecans (we prefer walnuts), chopped, toasted
2 cups apples (your favorite variety) thinly sliced
2 head butter lettuce, torn
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bread cubes, stir to coat, and saute until toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often. Transfer croutons to a bowl and set aside, return skillet to the burner.
Saute bacon until crisp, then drain on a paper towel lined plate. Pour off and reserve 1 tablespoon drippings.
Whisk drippings, juice concentrate, oil, vinegar, cinnamon, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne together in a bowl. Stir in pecans (or walnuts).
Toss apple slices, lettuce, bacon, and croutons with vinaigrette in a large bowl to coat, sprinkle with salt.
Serve immediately.

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