spinach salad

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.

spinach salad

And now that is spring and all, let’s start eating like it.

Hannah of Honey & Jam gets credit for sending me the link to this one, originally posted at This is Reverb (and tip: she also made her own deconstructed version, viewable here).

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?)

Spinach Salad, with fruit and homemade dressing
Adapted from This is Reverb, via Honey & Jam

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)
1 Apple
1 Orange
Some Pecans

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.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Hannah

    Oh man, now I’m craving that dressing!

  2. Jacqui

    that salad looks perfect for a day like today. can’t wait for the warm saturday! have fun in D.C. :)

  3. Tim

    yes, lets start eating like it! i agree and can’t wait for the days when we are all at the market buying stuff for salads…

  4. Sarah L

    Yum! I love the idea of parmesan & honey together in a salad dressing.

  5. siri

    So simple, so clean, so perfect. Added to the shopping list for tomorrow: fresh spinach.

    Thanks for sharing!


  6. Jennifer

    Lunch in the bottom of the Supreme Court building wasn’t too bad–probably not a big hotspot, but fun to eat there. :)

  7. Sara

    I can’t wait to try this dressing out.

    There is a restaurant in Dupont Circle called Obelisk. It is a small price fixed menu that changes constantly based on what the chef finds at the markets. If you can get a reservation, you should check it out.

  8. katie

    Ha, I moved from Chicago to Houston 10 years ago, now when its in the 70s we pull on a light sweater or jacket cause its chilly!

  9. Nick

    Have fun in DC! Whether is perfect here now. I’d say check out Tabard Inn for brunch. Get the homemade donuts. Don’t try to go to Ben’s Chili Bowl unless you go at a weird time. There has been a line around the block ever since Barack dined there…


  10. Shannalee

    Update on the weather situation—no sunshine but rain, lots of rain! I’ll take it. Especially when I know what it brings. Thanks everyone for the hopeful comments and well wishes about D.C. I am so excited for a three-day work week, that’s for sure!

  11. Shannalee

    BTW, Sara, we stayed just down the street from Obelisk and would have LOVED to eat there (the menu posted outside looked fantastic) but it didn’t work out. Next time!

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