Once Upon A Time There Was A Celebration Spinach Salad with Sweet Apple Vinaigrette & Walnut Parmesan

I once stumbled on to this meme that said, “No great story ever started with a salad.” Boy, was that meme ever wrong! Fairy tales practically start with salads nowadays. Ok, maaaaybe not really. But salads have turned over a new leaf (ha!) and are as far from boring as they could be. Salads with the right dressings can go from everyday ordinary to a celebration!

I adapted this recipe from the Oh She Glows Cookbook and made it a little bit my own. Some days, when I am in the mood for something light but delicious, I make variations of this. I think it goes great with everything and is robust enough to be a standalone meal.

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Serves: 4 to 6

Prep time: 20-25 minutes

Cook Time 7-9 minutes

 

FOR THE WALNUT PARMESAN:

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

1 1/2 tsp shredded parmesan cheese

1 1/2 to 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

 

FOR THE DRESSING:

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp plus 1 tsp fresh lime juice (you can also use lemon)

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

12 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1 tbsp grapeseed oil (you can also use extra virgin olive oil)

2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

 

SALAD

2 cups spinach

1 apple cored and finely chopped

1/4 cup craisins

1/2 cup grape tomatoes

 

1. Make the walnut parmesan: preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven between 7-9 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Chop the walnuts by hand or in a mini food processor. In a small bowl, combine toasted walnuts, shredded parmesan cheese, oil, and salt until mixture gets crumbly. Set aside.

3. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, mix thoroughly the vinegar, lime juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, oil, and applesauce.

4. To assemble the salad, place the spinach in a large bowl and pour on the dressing. Toss the spinach salad with the dressing until the spinach is fully coated. Top the spinach with the apple, craisins, and grape tomatoes. Sprinkle the walnut parmesan over the salad just before serving.

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