‘”..my salad days, when I was green in judgment.” (William Shakespeare “Antony and Cleopatra”)
Ah yes the salad days…late summer when salads are cool and crisp and the farmstands are filled with just-picked produce. In other words: the complete opposite of right now. Curse you Polar Vortex!
Salads and winter can be a tricky business. Especially here in the upper Midwest, where farm fresh produce is non existent. Yet lately I’ve been craving salads big time. Of course I go through my “I need to eat more vegetables and fruit this year” every January. But this year more than ever, I am just yearning for ANYTHING green! Seriously, spending nearly two months in the Chicago “fifty shades of white and grey” deep freeze makes me want to re carpet my living room in AstroTurf just to get the feeling of green grass!
But enough about the weather. Let’s get down to the real reason I am here and that is to talk about food. Specifically this totally awesome spinach salad that I have been making for ever. The ingredients are fairly basic:
You’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about this salad, but let me just say that the flavors and textures come together in perfect harmony. I would happily make an entire dinner out of this salad, and often have. Even the 15-year old last night ate every single last bite of his AND thanked me profusely for making a nice dinner (score one for mom).
And I suppose not ALL produce is in a sorry state right around now. Spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms and scallions seem to be good year round, making this a winner of a winter salad. So stick with me folks…great food like this will get us through the winter and before we know it, the true salad days will be upon us!
Winter Fresh Spinach Salad
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp. cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 6 TBS (about 1/4 cup) salad oil
- 8 cups baby spinach, stems removed
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2-3 green onions, finely chopped
- Fresh mushrooms, sliced
- Fresh (raw) cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
Directions In a jar or other container with a lid, mix together all of the dressing ingredients, shake well, and refrigerate for an hour or longer (or use right away). In a salad bowl, combine the spinach, eggs, bacon, green onions, mushrooms, and cauliflower and toss with dressing.