Spinach and Apple Salad

 

I’m hit or miss with salads.  I seem to go through phases.  I like salads with lots of texture, colors, and flavors.  Unfortunately, most of the time it seems that having all these things in a salad form equates to a lot of prep work.  I saw this recipe online and figured to give it a go.  I had everything on hand (including a “ginormous” bag of fresh apples that I had no clue as to how to use).  I gave myself a 20 minute weeknight challenge to see if I could, in fact, make a healthy and satisfying salad with enough time to get all my other responsibilities done.  And, I did it.

This salad doesn’t take too much prep work.  The salad dressing calls for a minced onion and, to be honest, that was about all the prep work I needed.  I bought pre-washed spinach, and simply cored the apples and thinly sliced them.  The buttered almonds didn’t take very long to make at all, because I already had sliced almonds on hand.  To be completely honest with you, I didn’t use hardly any of the salad dressing because I found that the salad had enough crunch and flavor to satisfy me, but the dressing was definitely a tasty twist on the traditional “oil and vinegar” base dressing. So, if you are really short on time, I would just lightly drizzle some of your favorite pre-made dressing on the salad to cut down on time.

And you know what?  I felt really good after eating this.  Yes, I added a little cheese (of course, I did…you know me.)  I had some queso fresco on hand (yes, it might seem weird on this salad, but it was good).  I was dreaming about how some nice white cheddar would go with the sweet apples while eating it, and when I make this again, I will be trying that out for sure. This is one of those meals that leaves you full and light at the same time.

 

Spinach and Apple Salad

Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the salad dressing:

1/4 cup minced sweet onion

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Pinch paprika

3 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the buttered almonds:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup sliced almonds (I like mine with the skin on, but feel free to use your favorite variety)

For the salad:

One 10-ounce bag of pre-washed, ready-to-use spinach leaves

2 medium apples (variety of your choice), cored, quartered, and thinly sliced

Cheese (variety of your choice), optional

Instructions

1. For the salad dressing:  In a medium-sized bowl, combine the onion, vinegars, sesame seeds, and paprika.  Mix well.

2. Add the 2 tablespoons of the sugar to the mixture and mix until combined.

3. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture.

4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Set aside.

5. For the buttered almonds: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.

6. Add the almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until the almonds are lightly browned and fragrant, about a minute or so.

7. Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar to the almonds and gently toss to coat.

8. Continue to cook until the sugar melts, about 1-2 minutes more.

9. Remove the almonds from the heat and set aside to cool.

10. Assemble the salad as desired, and drizzle with salad dressing.

 

Source:  Adapted slightly from Bon Appétit via Epicurious.

 

September 15, 2011 - 7:20 am

Blog is the New Black - This looks so simple, delicious, and healthy! I can’t wait to add apples to fall salads!

September 15, 2011 - 11:18 am

Annie - Yum, that looks really good! I love salads with apples in them!

September 15, 2011 - 11:23 am

Alli - I love the fresh fall apple flavor in salads. This looks like a perfect lunch.

September 15, 2011 - 2:44 pm

Paula @ Dishing the Divine - Oooooh! Fall! :) I love it! :) I love great salads and great salads by definition have more than just veggies in them. This looks delicious!

September 15, 2011 - 8:17 pm

Sarah @ pão e queijo - I’ve made this salad before, it’s really yummy! I love the sugary almonds. Beautiful pictures :)

September 16, 2011 - 8:58 am

Josie - Such a pretty salad!

September 16, 2011 - 10:20 am

Joanne - I’m totally with you on this salad thing. I need texture and variety in every bite…which usually takes forever to get together unless I’m standing in front of one of those salad bars in a deli and then I’m in heaven. This, though? This sounds like the fall salad I’m going to be eating every day for a month. At least.

September 16, 2011 - 10:29 am

Laura - Yum! I’m sure the contrast of the tender spinach and the crisp apples is to die for! So glad my favorite varieties are going to be available soon. Long live Honeycrisps!

September 16, 2011 - 2:28 pm

peach - Salad looks very good! The pictures are great! I am going to make it for dad and I this weekend! remindes me of fall!

September 16, 2011 - 3:22 pm

Liz @ Tip Top Shape - This salad looks fantastic!! I have all the ingredients in my fridge alreayd, too. I know what I’m eating for dinner!

September 16, 2011 - 7:46 pm

myFudo - The salad is wonderful and so are the pictures.

September 16, 2011 - 9:37 pm

Erika - The Teenage Taste - This salad just screams autumn! The buttered almonds are the perfect finishing touch. :-)

September 16, 2011 - 10:01 pm

Marie Cinqmars - The food styling is absolutely beautiful, just beautiful. The Apples & almonds really show such a beautiful array of colors and contrast.

September 25, 2011 - 9:11 pm

Heather - So so delish! We made this tonight after a day of apple picking at a local orchard, and added goat cheese! Will definitely make again!

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