If you're looking for an easy-to-throw-together salad to serve with your upcoming holiday meals, this is it. With a delicious homemade vinaigrette, a simple spinach salad goes from ho-hum to vibrant and brilliant in a pinch.
I'm a bit of a salad dressing snob, you might say. I do not enjoy the typical salad dressings most commonly found in restaurants like ranch, blue cheese, french....No way. But I LOVE salad. Herein lies the problem. What this problem has ended up resorting me to is ordering a "dressing" for my salad that is a bit unconventional...
Yep, just plain yellow mustard is what I will order while out at restaurants to top off my salads. Not dijon mustard. Not honey mustard. Just yellow mustard, the kind you add to your hot dogs and hamburgers. I've been doing it for years and haven't gotten tired of it yet. The only thing I get tired of is the strange looks from my waiter or fellow table guests. I'll still order the mustard on the side regardless.
There is an exception to this sacred salad dressing choice of mine and that is if I happen to find myself in a restaurant with a really good made-in-house vinaigrette. I've had some exceptional poppyseed, white wine and garlic, and blueberry vinaigrettes in my day.
One thing I have yet to do, however, is make my own vinaigrette at home. Where have I been?! I have no idea. But when I opened up my first bottle of the De Nigris white wine vinegar (side note: I'm also a huge vinegar fan) it's like the aroma of the vinegar spoke to me and said "I want to become a vinaigrette". I was happy to oblige.
You can find out more about De Nigris 1889 and this company's long line of history of working with vinegars on their website here.
Find more De Nigris recipes by following them on Facebook and Twitter.
Holiday Spinach Salad
with Cranberry Vinaigrette
For the Salad:
4 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
For the Vinaigrette:
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. De Nigris 1889 White Wine Vinegar (or other white wine vinegar)
3 Tbsp. dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. honey
1/8 tsp. salt
To prepare the vinaigrette add all ingredients for vinaigrette into food processor. Process until finely chopped (about 30 sec.). Add vinaigrette to small container or bowl.
Add chopped walnuts to small pan on stove. Toast walnuts over medium-high heat until you just start to smell their toasty aroma in air (about 5 min.). Remove walnuts from heat and allow to cool. Place spinach, toasted walnuts, feta, and dried cranberries in large bowl. Add 4-5 Tbsp. vinaigrette to salad in bowl and toss to combine.
*Note* Could serve salads in each bowl with vinaigrette separately to allow each person to dress their own salad. Store remaining salad dressing in small container in fridge.
Healthy Recipe Tidbits
- Like most vinegars, white wine vinegar helps regulate blood sugar levels and provides short-term appetite control--both of which can be beneficial to those looking to lose weight and/or diabetics.
- Vinegar is high in acetic acid which, when eaten with a meal, can aid in absorption of essential minerals locked in foods that may have been lost in the digestion process otherwise.
- Vinegar consumption can be especially beneficial to women because of its ability to aid in calcium absorption to maintain bone health and decrease likelihood of developing osteoperosis.
- Dried cranberries are known mostly for their antioxidant properties; however, studies have also shown that dried cranberries, just like cranberry juice, can help reduce the likelihood of one developing urinary tract infections and can even help with the symptoms of those suffering from a UTI.
Favorite salad and/or salad dressing?