Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fall Spinach Salad

Fall into Spinach

Leftover night! Our attempt to clean out the fridge before Sunday Fun Day! And yes, Sunday Fun Day is my favorite day of the week, because it usually means going to the Farmer's Market and grocery store, then cooking all day! Oh and not to mention, football!

Fall Spinach Salad |

But, I digress. So, we were eating leftovers and I decided to use the remaining fresh spinach for a side salad to accompany the leftover soup (for me) and pasta (for him). I literally did not have any dressing in our fridge, so decided to make my own. A little homemade dressing, a little nuts and dried fruit and this became a "throw together" that turned into a delicious salad, especially for the Fall.

We devoured the salad so fast, that I didn't take a picture. So I woke up the next morning and remade it. 

Fall Spinach Salad |

Ryan is a Ranch-lover, we all know this. I have been on a mission to create (or buy) other dressings that he will equally love. This was one such success. The key for Ryan is to create a creamy texture that mimics the thickness and richness of ranch. However, I am not a fan of the fat content that accompanies ranch dressing. So I improvised a bit. Yes, I do add a little bit of mayonnaise to this dressing, but only in moderation to get the texture. I have to face the fact that Ryan will never stop eating Ranch, but if I can get him to use it less, then I consider that an accomplishment!

This is a very easy and quick salad, especially in the fall, when apples are crisp and abundant in most kitchens.

Fall Spinach Salad |

Fall Spinach Salad

Yields: 4 salads
Prep Time: 10 minutes 

2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup apple, julienne (we use Honeycrisp)
1/3 cup raisins (can use dried cranberries, cherries or currants as well)
1/2 cup raw walnuts, toasted, chopped (can use hazelnuts or pine nuts here too)
Sharp cheddar or Gruyere cheese, grated or chopped into small squares

2 tablespoon cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoon  honey
2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Fall Spinach Salad |

For the salad, place spinach on a small plate and equally distribute the apple, walnuts, raisins and cheese among the plates. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey and salt and pepper. Slowly add in the olive oil, while whisking. 

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.

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