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.
• 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!