Who can’t use more salad recipes to mix up the usual suspects? I love salads and could (and usually do) eat them daily. I just think they’re very refreshing, and they are a great way to get your daily vegetables (and fruits!). They can be very good for you, as long as they’re not drenched in creamy dressing. They are also a great thing to take to someone’s house when you are a dinner guest or they are having a cookout. Then you don’t have to feel so bad about having that big juicy grilled burger if you accompany it with some salad. It’s science!
I first had this salad at my parents’ house over Christmas, made from a recipe from Weight Watchers. Since then, I have been making the dressing and using it on my salads for lunch because it is so yummy! We recently took this to our friends’ Dave and Kylie’s for dinner, so I thought I would share it with you all. It’s a really easy, refreshing salad, and making your own dressing always seems impressive, even though it’s really simple.
Though I usually use olive oil for dressings, I use canola oil in this one because I like to make a double or triple batch and keep it in the fridge. You can’t do that with olive oil, because it gets solid when refrigerated. So if you are going to use it right away, you can use olive oil. If not, I’d suggest canola oil.
I’m sorry, but I’m not giving you amounts on the greens. You are just going to have to guess how much you need. The dressing should make enough for about four servings (as side salads).
Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries, and Roasted Almonds
For the dressing:
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 2 T canola oil (or olive oil if you aren’t going to need to refrigerate it)
- 2 T water
- 2 tsp stone ground mustard
- 2 tsp real maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
- Red leaf lettuce
- Baby spinach
- 1 red pear, sliced
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup whole natural almonds
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet (and maybe add a few extra for snacking). Bake for 8-10 minutes, until you begin to smell the almonds. When they have cooled enough to handle, rough chop them into chunks.
While the almonds are roasting, mix all of the ingredients for the dressing with a whisk and set aside.
Put greens in a large salad bowl and top with pear, cranberries, almonds, feta, and scallions.
You can dress your salad as a whole if you wish, but I like to let individuals put their own dressing on.