looking for a great spinach salad to serve to guests as part of a holiday dinner party. hopefully can find something easy yet impressive. thanks!
They make a nice one with "caramelized" pears (sauteed with butter & sugar?) and toasted pecans at a lunch spot I know. Some kind of non-descript sweet dressing. Most addictive.
Dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese and again pecans seems to be a popular combo.
Sliced oranges, red onion, simple dressing with vinegar, sugar and oil (and S & P) - the oranges' juice blends with the dressing to nice effect.
Even though these are all sweet-ish ideas, I don't think it's *necessary* to do spinach salad that way - baby spinach is not so bitter that it requires a sweet dressing - maybe someone will have some non-sweet ideas.
I usually do dried cranberries, oranges, red onions, and almonds with a raspberry vinegarette. Have also done it before with mangos instead of the oranges.
I know that a lot of spinach salads include crumbled bacon but I don't know what else is added to the salad to make it a little more exciting.
For office lunches, we typically order a salad that has dried cranberries, grapes, pears, blue cheese, and pistachios. It is a substantial salad though- not something I would pick to accompany a meal.
My favorite is the classic Italian version, with crumbled crisp bacon, sauteed mushrooms and onions, a balsamic vinegar dressing (with a little of the bacon fat added in with the olive oil).
I toss the spinach with salt & pepper, EVOO & a pear white wine vinegar. Then add sliced pears and crumbled blue cheese. Pretty much what everyone else is posting.
However, I find the organic baby spinach by Dole (never thought I'd be recommending a food giant) to be worth the price difference versus regular spinach or the non-organic baby spinach I have available. Note that I am not located in California, we get fresh locally produced vegetables here in the frozen north a few months each summer.
A while back, in a discussion on lentils, someone had a recipe for warm lentils with bacon, served on a basic arugula salad. I threw something together based on the recipe, but used baby spinach instead of arugula.
Does it have to be a salad? If you're keen on the spinach, you could do a saag, or toss basmati rice with mustard seeds, dried cranberries, baby spinach leaves, and a light lemon vinaigrette. My favourite, which I devour in English chinese restaurants, is deep-fried, finely shiffonaded spinach, with dried scallion powder on top. But that's more a nibble-thing than a side dish.