This spinach salad recipe is good as an entrée or appetizer. Tossed with tangy honey mustard dressing it works like a charm every time.
Fresh delicious vegetables are one thing, bland tasteless ones are another. Whenever I think about salads I think about rich hearty flavors and textures complimenting each other. If I was to describe a salad when I was a kid, it’s a totally different ballgame.
Mom forgive me here… salads as a kid were bland. And pale. Drowning in ranch dressing only to be discarded to the trash. Do you recall a similar memory? Lots of iceberg lettuce surviving on our plates. Not frequently enough did I see a gorgeous spinach salad recipe like this. But mom, you worked so hard to try to get us, as kids, to eat vegetables. Thank you for loving us so much.
And then came the spinach. Boiled in water and flavored with salt. Not my most favorite way to get greens into my diet as a kid, or now. But fresh and tossed with sweet berries and dressing? Yes please!
When I moved to California in 2001, it was then I tasted the pure joy of freshly grown vegetables. The comparison of an organic farm grown tomato that goes straight from the farm to your kitchen is incomparable. So sweet and savory. The same goes for spinach and all vegetables. Especially if you can get them from local farms.
How to make the perfect salad? Think about textures and flavor combinations. It need sweet, tart, savory and crunch. Then a little creaminess – purely for pleasure. This spinach salad recipe has all of those ingredients!
Every Saturday or Sunday the boys and I visit the Santa Barbara Farmers Market to get our produce for the week. This delicious spinach salad recipe is made of the seasonal vegetables in February (and some year round). Spinach is pretty tough to eat and works well for smoothie recipes. Baby spinach, on the other hand has been harvested for only about 15-35 days. They are more tender than mature spinach because of their smaller leaves. Baby spinach is also slightly sweeter.
Since spinach is pretty much year round, I used that for our base. The berries are out-of-this world divine so I added blackberries and raspberries to compliment the tender leaves. When it’s strawberry season, substitute the raspberries and blackberries for them. A little bit of green onion chunks, Chinese broccoli and radicchio for color makes for one tasty salad! And what about some raw natural crunch? We came home with a bag of “salad sprouts” so used some raw lentils, garbanzo beans and pea sprouts. If you can’t find that then basic microgreen sprouts will do with a few crunchy nuts. I would recommend pistachios, almond slivers, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
There are a few dressings that work for this spinach salad recipe but my favorite is my super easy honey mustard dressing. Just whisk together honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil and vinegar with a dash of salt and pepper. And paired with the sweet floral aroma (acai berry, dried blueberries, pomegranate, pitaya fruit, kiwi berry and white grapefruit) of a Grenache Rosé, it makes for a special weeknight or weekend affair!
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup of blackberries
- ½ cup of raspberries
- ½ cup radicchio, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of green onion, diced
- 1 handful of microgreen sprouts
- ½ cup Chinese broccoli (with flowers)
- ½ cup of raw chickpea sprouts, pea sprouts or pistachio nuts
- Mint leaves (optional)
- Honey Mustard Dressing:
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- In a small bowl whisk together white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
- In a large bowl toss together baby spinach leaves, radicchio, green onion slices and Chinese broccoli. Set out 4 plates and divide evenly. Sprinkle evenly on top of each salad the raw garbanzo bean sprouts and pea sprouts, microgreens and berries. Drizzle with the honey mustard dressing and garnish with mint leaves.
More salads to enjoy: