Friday, May 31, 2013

Mandarin Spinach Salad

Mandarin Spinach Salad

For a long time I turned my nose up at raw spinach.  I loved cooked spinach in just about anything but if there was ever a spinach salad served I would find pretty much any way not to eat it.  One day for some unfathomable reason I decided that a spinach salad deserved some room on my plate.  Maybe it was the sugared almonds that were sitting on top or the juicy little mandarin orange slices tossed throughout.  Whatever it was, it ended up on my plate.  And then I took a bite.  And then I decided I liked spinach salads.  Even as adults we decide we don't like things that we have never tried and then let it control what we eat.  Sometimes we just need to take a bite.

This salad is one my mom makes frequently.  She takes it to family gatherings, pot lucks and cook-outs because it is so darn easy to throw together and it is mostly made from pantry staples.  The true test is that there is never any left in the bowl at the end.  It really is a great recipe to feed a crowd because the dressing is easy to double and triple and there is absolutely no chopping involved.  Ok, so that might be the best part.

*This recipe is gluten free.
Mandarin Spinach Salad

Yield: 6 side dish servings
Prep time: 10 minutes

1 bag spinach
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup Craisins ( optional)

Sugared Almonds:
1/2 cup almonds
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest or 2 mandarin orange slices crushed

To sugar the almonds

Heat the almonds, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly.  After a few minutes you will start to see the sugar clumping slightly on the almonds, this will not be obvious unless you are watching clearly.  Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir the almonds until the almonds are coated and the sugar starts to cool and turn white.  Set aside.

For dressing

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine or in a container with a very tight lid that can be shaken.

Right before serving toss the spinach with the dressing and then spread the almonds, mandarin slices and Craisins (if using) over the top.  Serve and enjoy!

Printable Recipe

1 comment:

  1. Sounds yummy, I am looking forward to trying some!