HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Spinach Salad

  • a

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!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: julesrules

      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.

    2. 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).

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. A dressing of bacon fat, sugar and vinegar; proportioned to taste. Crumbled Blue cheese, sherred boiled egg, sliced raw mushrooms, crumbeled yet crisp-fried bacon. The spinach may also be added!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lanny
              East Point Cook

              good for you too!

            2. e
              East Point Cook

              Not impressive, but simple and delicious.
              Spinach, toasted pine nuts, lemon, EVOO, and small chunks of parm-regg.

              1. Spinach, figs, walnuts, feta, and a few sundried tomatoes with a balsamic vinegarette.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Emme

                  I would add thinly sliced tomatoes.

                  1. re: texasmensch

                    Olives occasionally make it into the mix as well.

                2. I made one that everyone liked.

                  Baby spinach
                  slivers of red onion
                  sliced strawberries
                  sliced mushrooms
                  pine nuts
                  planks of parmesan

                  Dressed with a mild vinegarette. The vinegarette I like best with it is of oil, vinegar (raspberry or strawberry, or rice), honey, dry mustard, herbs de provence, sprinkle of white wine Worsestershire sauce, a touch of garlic powder, sprinkle of salt and pepper. But a sweet balsamic vinegarette is also good.

                  1. my fave is a dressing made with bacon fat, red onion, honey and balsamic vinegar, throw in cashews for last minute of cooking. Pour dressing and nuts over spinach and toss. Add crumbled bacon, craisins (dried cranberries), and slices of sour (granny simth) apple. divine!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: andy huse

                      Wow, Andy! That dressing sounds amazing. Who even needs the spinach? Just eat the dressing with a spoon! I printed that one. pat