In my pursuit of a decent wintertime salad, I've turned more often to spinach, which seems to be more readily available in my area than crisp lettuce. The spinach also is frequently a much better buy than the lettuce and has more nutrients. The salad recipe I'm posting today is simple and makes a great accompaniment to main dishes. Alternatively, you can top the salad with some grilled chicken or fish and make it a meal. You can vary the fruit you add to the salad. Sometimes I use apples, and other times I opt for pears or a combination. You can also substitute goat cheese for the feta, if you'd like. Enjoy!
Simple Spinach and Fruit Salad -- Serves 4
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of strawberry or mixed fruit preserves
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup of chopped or shredded carrots
2 - 3 chopped green onions
1 large or two small chopped apples (or use pears or a combination)
1/4 cup of crumbled feta or goat's milk cheese
2 - 3 tablespoons of dried cranberries
5 - 6 handfulls of washed and dried spinach (5-6 ounces)
In a large bowl whisk together well the vinegar, oil, preserves, pepper, and salt. Stir in the celery, carrots, onions, apples, crumbled cheese, and dried cranberries. Add the spinach to the mixture and toss/turn the salad to coat the spinach and distribute the dressing, fruit, and vegetables evenly. If you want to make the salad ahead, leave the spinach on top of the dressing/fruit/vegetable mixture, cover the salad, and then mix in the spinach when you're ready to serve the salad.