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Spinach Salad Perfect for Spring

There’s nothing better to whet your warm weather palate than some tasty and nutritious spinach salad.

Spinach served in a salad gives lots of bang for the buck. It’s full of B vitamins and pairs well with so many toppings from meat to fruits and cheeses to nuts. To top that off it is good served with both savory and sweet dressings. Since folks like spinach raw and cooked it can be topped with either a warm or cold dressing. 

This versatile vegetable brings many options to the table. Make almost any spinach salad, top it with chicken or salmon and you have a delightful main dish. I love meals like this because you can get in and out of the kitchen quickly and without even turning on the stove; that is, of course, if you have some pre-cooked chicken or fish. A rotisserie chicken from the market makes it a cinch. 

By the way, try throwing around some words like “market” and “palate.” It can be fun. It will impress your friends and make you sound like a foodie. Tell someone that you’re headed for the market instead of the grocery store and see if their eyebrows raise just a little. They might be impressed or they might just think that you’re lost. 

Below are two of my favorite spinach salad recipes. Hope you enjoy them as much as my family and friends do.

With both of the following recipes I sometimes like to add a little romaine lettuce to give the salad some crunch.

Spinach Salad
You can do all of the prep work for this salad, except slicing the apples, well ahead of time, making it a snap to throw together.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound fresh spinach—Yes, you can use the bagged spinach and it’s pre-washed.
  • 1 apple, cored, unpeeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tb lemon juice-optional
  • 3 green onions, sliced  HINT: Cutting green onions with kitchen shears is the way to go. Snip them right into your salad. Saves muss and fuss, if you’re not into mussing and fussing.
  • 1 (2 oz.) package sliced almonds, toasted You can do the toasting in the microwave on a paper plate; about 2 minutes.
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, optional  HINT: I love the pre-cooked bacon that you can buy these days. Goes from freezer or refrigerator, to microwave, to table in one minute. It’s crunchy and delicious, unless you burn it in which case it’s crunchy and time to cook more. But, if you think you’ll miss having those pans full of bacon grease to clean up, then by all means don’t buy it.
  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Dressing:

  • ½ cup sugar 
  • ⅓  cup canola oil    
  • ⅓  cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 Tb prepared mustard

Prep:

Blend all of dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor, or just shake them up in a jar. 

You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate until needed.

Wash spinach leaves thoroughly and pat dry, unless you’re using the pre-washed bagged variety. Sounds like a plan to me. 

Remove thick stems. At this point you may look at your pile of spinach and think that you have enough salad for your whole neighborhood. Well, you don’t. When you add the dressing you’ll wonder “Where did all that spinach go?” You may even want to add a little more.  

Toss apple slices in lemon juice and drain.

In a large bowl combine spinach, apples, onions, and almonds.

Top with bacon and chopped eggs.

When ready to serve, drizzle with dressing (you may not want to use all of it), toss and serve immediately.

Spinach Salad #2  This is a free-form salad. I’ll tell you the ingredients and you choose the amount. 

Ingredients:

  • baby spinach
  • pecans-cut into fairly large pieces and lightly toasted
  • 4 oz. container goat cheese
  • sliced strawberries

Balsamic vinaigrette dressing ingredients:

  • 3 Tb balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tb lemon juice
  • 1½ Tb honey
  • 1 tsp brown mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Prep:

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to mix.

Pour dressing over salad when ready to serve. May not need all of the dressing depending on the size of your salad.

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