To write this post, I was trying to think back to a month ago, when we ate this salad, on a night when I’m almost sure there was still snow on the ground. I guess there must have been, since that was the night my friend Jackie came over for dinner, and she had to grip the stair railings to keep from falling on the ice on her way inside.
But listen to this: Tonight? I drove home with the windows down, the sun beating on me, and I actually was sweating, if you can believe it. All around me, the grass outside is totally green, there are flowers budding that look like lumps of cotton, and the skies are the perfect shade of blue.
I know I’ve said this before, but it is really spring here. Finally. And honestly, I’ve almost forgotten winter.
I think there’s a lot of value in forgetting sometimes. I mean, it’s not good to forget the story your friend told you yesterday at lunch, but it’s pretty great if you can forget the obnoxious thing that guy said to you at work. And this time of year, I am all for forgetting: forgetting the ice, the snow, the cold, the commutes. Forgetting that last time I posted about the weather getting better, it went and snowed.
And now that is spring and all, let’s start eating like it.
At its heart, this is a pretty basic salad: just some spinach tossed with sliced apples and oranges, maybe also pecans if you’re like me. But it’s the dressing that makes things so good: a combination of olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, pepper and Parmesan, this topping is sweet and tangy, absolutely perfect as it blends with the acid of the fruits and the texture of the spinach.
I say, this weekend, if you’re living anywhere like Chicago, where Saturday temperatures should be in the 70s (!), put on your tank top and jeans, sit outside in the midst of it all, and eat this salad. It’s the kind of thing likely to make you forget about anything that isn’t, well, you know, fresh and fragrant, perfectly green and filled with sunshine.
One Week! Next week, this time, by the way, I’ll be the girl in Washington, D.C., doing normal everyday things like taking private tours of the Capitol Building. I know there are a lot of you D.C. foodies out there, and I’ll be there a couple days, so give me your tips! (Please?)
You’ll notice some of these instructions are pretty vague—I’m sorry about that. Because this salad is so easy, though, you can feel free to eyeball a lot of it with how much you want or don’t want. The originally recipe calls for goat cheese, so by all means, try that. I also think a variety of different nuts and/or fruits could work here.
Fresh Spinach (amount is up to you – I used enough to fill the bowl)
For the dressing:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon Honey
Some Parmesan Cheese
Dashes of Salt and Pepper
Wash and drain spinach and place it in the salad bowl. Slice the apple into thin slices; peel the orange and slice it into segments, removing the pith. Add these fruits to the spinach, along with as many pecans as you’d like.
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk thoroughly. Pour on top of the salad and enjoy.