Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cranberry Spinach Vinaigrette

We had something very similar to this when we visited friends in the US in the summer of 2006. We had it with feta, so I added feta.

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
500 g fresh spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
1 pkg (250 g) firm feta cheese

For the dressing:
1/2 cup powdered or confectioners sugar
1 Tbsp finely minced onion / one shallot finely minced
1/4 teaspoon paprika or sweet red pepper
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil


Prepare the almonds. You can buy blanched, slivered almonds in most stores but if you can't find them, just use regular almonds with the skins still on and cut them in half. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool on a plate with a paper towel.

Clean the spinach well in the sink, removing dirt and any bits you don't want to eat. Drain the spinach well and pat dry lightly with a paper towel. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries. We like to chop the cranberries into smaller bits.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and olive oil. Its important to have decent vinegar as it will make a difference in the taste. Toss about 1/4 to 1/2 of the dressing with spinach salad just before serving, then add cubes of feta.

Makes 4-5 adult dinner salad portions.


This basic recipe works very well with the packaged salad that you can get in many supermarkets. Add the dressing, some roasted nuts like cashews, sunflower seeds or walnuts and other dried fruit like raisins, banana chips, dates, chopped apricots or apples and other kinds of cheese cut in small cubes. The combination of salad, dried fruit and cheese in the above proportions or even less is very flexible.

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