You want the very best spinach for a salad this sweet and simple. Other than washing that spinach, this goes together very quickly. This is a side salad, not a meal salad, and I think it would go with just about anything. Apples are the last of the season; look for Red Prince or other long storage apples. I think mine were Empires, that have been sitting in the produce drawer for 2 months. Still just fine!
This is the last of the spinach from our garden. The price of getting it early is that it is finished early. I was amused – and exasperated – to find a tiny rabbit nest in it as I pulled it out. It wasn’t clear to me if the rabbits had raised their babies and moved on, or if they had started the nest and abandoned it when it became clear that this was a busier neighbourhood than they had supposed. It didn’t seem all that used to me, so that might have been it. On the other hand we have a wild turkey sitting on a nest with 14 eggs just on the other side of our deer fence. She’s been strutting around the yard like she owns it which she just might. Not sure how hard on a garden wild turkeys can be but I guess we are about to find out.
30 minutes prep time
Make the Dressing:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon apple butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoon walnut, hazelnut, or other nut oil
Whisk it all together in a small bowl or jam jar. Transfer to a serving container.
Make the Salad:
4 cups washed and picked-over fresh spinach
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, or other nuts or seeds
2 medium apples
Wash and pick over the spinach, and wash it again. Drain well. Chop or tear it lightly if some of the leaves are too large. Arrange it in a salad bowl, and sprinkle the cranberries and nuts over it.
Wash, core, and chop the apples and scatter them over the spinach. Pass the salad with the dressing to be drizzled over it as it is served.
Last year at this time I made Spring Cilantro Soup, which confirms my thought that things are on the late side this year, because it is barely up at this point. Not surprising, given what April was like!