Salad Wednesday – Not Your Typical Spinach Salad

August 3, 2011

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Over 10 years ago, my friend Karen offered to bring a spinach salad to one of our many Sunday night, 5 family dinners. Being the gracious hostess that I was, I gleefully said of course. Then I thought spinach salad, big whoop. Not so exciting, right? Wrong!

Spinach is spinach. It’s great in a baked pasta, sauteed with garlic, tossed in a big pot of lentil soup or eaten on a sandwich instead of lettuce. But spinach tossed with a dressing so out of the ordinary is addicting. The dressing is the perfect balance of savory and sweet therefore the “accessories” that are thrown in with the spinach is what makes this salad a winner.

A few years back, Karen picked up and moved her family back to Florida. But, she left her recipe and all of our great memories behind.

Karen’s Spinach Salad

1 cup grape seed oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup organic white cane sugar
1/3 cup ketchup (I use homemade)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. finely diced red onion
1 lb. fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted or candied pecans
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 oz. pancetta, baked and crumbled
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 hard boiled egg whites, finely chopped

to make dressing:
• combine oil, red wine vinegar, organic white cane sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, diced red onion, and kosher salt in a jar fitted with a tight lid. shake to combine. set aside.
for the accessories:
• preheat oven to 350*
• toast nuts on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes.
• place pancetta on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. bake for 12-14 minutes or until crislpy.
to assemble:
• put spinach in a large wooden bowl.
• top with accessories
• toss with dressing

* anything can be added to this salad; chicken, grapes, bacon, you decide!

More Spinach Salads:
Eggs + Bacon Spinach Salad – Dinasaur Dishes
Roasted Beet and Spinach Salad – This week for Dinner
Kiwi Strawberry Spinach Salad – Savor the Thyme
Radish and Baby Spinach Salad – Sips and Spoonfuls

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristen August 3, 2011 at 7:49 am

Oh my – that dressing alone is so unique! Looks so good.


2 Susan August 3, 2011 at 8:36 am

Kristen – it’s also great as a maranade!


3 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] August 3, 2011 at 8:05 am

I would love to try this salad. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


4 Susan August 3, 2011 at 8:36 am

I think this is so up your alley!


5 Amanda August 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm

The combination of these flavors is so new to me… I just love the idea of it though!! Thanks for this recipe… bookmarked! 🙂


6 Simone August 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I love the look of that dressing! I can only imagine how great it must taste with that salad (or any other salad I would almost add..)


7 Marla {family fresh cooking} August 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Love me a great spinach salad like this. Sounds like your friend know’s what she is talking about!


8 Molly Chester August 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Beautiful! Looks delicious. Thanks Susan!


9 Brooke @ Food Woolf August 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

It’s just that simple, huh? Looks like I’d be silly not to make it. Then I guess I will….


10 Georgia Pellegrini August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I have recently gotten into spinach salads too… but I’m especially intrigued by your dressing. I bet it would be good on so many salads. And I love the bottle 🙂


11 gilli treiman August 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

We love spinach salad, this is a keeper! Beautiful photography too!


12 jenjenk September 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm

spinach salads are one of my favorite salads – arugula being the other!!! this sounds fabulous!


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