Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Winter to Spring Spinach Salad

I wish I could put off spring just a little longer. If winter were one of my students, I'd make him repeat a grade, just to enjoy him a little longer. Maybe I should move to Alaska. It's a secret escapist fantasy of mine, anyway. You might think that I don't love spring, but you'd be wrong. I love the chirping birds, the bright blue skies, the colorful flowers, the urge to be outdoors tossing a frisbee. But I love winter, too. I love the coziness, the sparkly frost and snow, the shadowy silhouettes during the dinner hour, the pots simmering and the oven baking, and the solitude of shrinking in and away. If I were Mother Nature, you would be assured 6 months of ice and snow. I'd be about as popular as Obama.
But I'm not in charge. So here comes spring in just a couple of weeks, officially. In the meantime, I find myself craving leafy greens and tender berries, in spite of myself. I'm still hanging on to my zesty citrus and hearty apples, so I created this salad to represent the best of both winter and spring. I admit to eating it daily for lunch. The dressing is sweet with caramel undertones from the brown sugar, yet zesty from the apple cider vinegar and a hint of mustard. The dressing is also deceptively low in fat, but you'll never notice that. But it's spring and that means its almost almost almost swimsuit season. Groan. Just another reason to love winter.
Winter to Spring Salad
Estimated Cost: $5.00
Money Saving Tips: It's almost time to plant spinach! Plant a row of spinach a week to keep you saving all throughout the spring. Choose any apples or berries that you find on sale and vary the nuts according to what you have on hand. You'll have plenty of extra dressing for more salad later in the week.
1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach
1 large orange, peeled and sectioned
1 sweet apple, sliced thin
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup paper thin slices of red onion
1/3 cup toasted pecans, broken into bits
For Dressing:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
For Salad, layer spinach, orange, apple, strawberries, onions, and pecans on a platter. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a screwtop lid. Shake until well combined. Just before serving, drizzle dressing all over salad.
Next Up:
Captain Crunch Chicken


Tightwad Mom said...

I love this salad, already! It looks delicious! I am a secret winter lover,too. Sometimes at night I just like to turn off the lights and watch the snow falling outside my window. I like the coziness, the delicious smell of soup or stew cooking in the crock pot, and the aroma of fresh yeasty bread coming out of the oven(which is not the same in the throws of July and August heat).

The Zany Housewife said...

That sounds delicious. I've been needing new salad ideas, and this one is definitely going on the list.

Rachel @ Rachel's Recipe Reviews said...

This is my favorite type of salad. I'll have to try this dressing, sounds great!

The Japanese Redneck said...

I never thought about adding the different fruits to a salad. That looks so good I wish I could have it for lunch.

Lisa Huff/Snappy Gourmet said...

Beautiful salad! Not helping my spring fever! :)

Lorie said...

Thank you for that. I am not ready for spring either, and everyone thinks I'm crazy. It's nothing against spring, it's just that our Mississippi winters are hardly winter, and I don't get my fill of bundling up and snuggly cold days. And I know that the dreadful southern summer will be cruel, so I'll take all the cold/cool weather I can get.

Katie and Mark said...

I had this today, and I LOVED it! Thanks!

Rebecca Christianson said...

I made this for the family dinner yesterday. It was AWE-SOME!!! Dressing was SOOO easy and deeeee-lish! Thanks Prudy!