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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Spinach Salad

I am very excited to share with you my all time favorite salad recipe.  It is simple, delicious and a crowd pleaser.  Surprisingly, it doesn't have butter in it, which is quite the accomplishment for me.  It does have sugar though, but that makes it more delicious.



I have been making this salad for a few years now and I love it.  I take it to picnics, parties, get togethers and bunco.  The best thing about taking this somewhere is I always leave with a clean bowl.  It is always gobbled up.  There is nothing worse than taking a dish somewhere and leaving with the majority of it.  That is not the case with this salad.  I hope you will enjoy it like I do, especially how simple it is to make.

Before I get to the recipe, I want to share some tips with you so that this is super easy for you to make.

First, in a large measuring cup (2-3 cup size), measure out 1 cup of chopped pecans (you could use walnuts as well, but I prefer pecans.  It is the Southerner in me!).  Add 2 tablespoons white sugar and 2-3 tablespoons (or more if needed) water.  Stir well.  Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.  Then pour the pecans out on a dish to cool.  You can even put it in the refrigerator to speed up the process.  Your pecans are now candied and required very little time, effort or clean up.



Second, when cutting up strawberries (mushrooms, eggs or anything needing uniformity), use an egg slicer.  It will create perfect, uniform slices and save you a ton of time.


See how pretty the strawberries look and you didn't risk cutting your fingers either!

Thirdly, I use a pourable dressing bottle to make the dressing for this.  Any salad will start to get soggy if you dress it too early.  Anytime I take this salad somewhere, I take the dressing with me in this container.  I can shake it up real quick and pour it over the salad.  Then it is perfect and ready to be devoured.



Lastly,  I like to serve this salad in a large glass bowl or trifle.  It has bright colors and is beautiful.  Seeing it from all angles enhances the need to eat it.  I also like to layer this salad so that all the toppings are spread throughout.  This also means some mandarin oranges and strawberries last for everyone as my children often sneak off with some from the top.





Summer Spinach Salad

1 carton of strawberries sliced
1 large can of mandarin oranges
1 large bag of fresh baby spinach
1 cup of chopped pecans
2 TBSP sugar

Cook pecans and sugar over low heat until melted, then cool.  I sometimes just put this mixture in the microwave when I am in a hurry.

Layer spinach strawberries, mandarin oranges and pecans in large bowl.  Do two layers if possible or toss items altogether.

Dressing:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP white vinegar

Double dressing for larger salads.  The above pictured salad had a doubled dressing.


Enjoy!



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18 comments:

  1. This sounds delicous! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Yum! I'm watching my spinach in the garden....and have told it this salad is first on the list. :)

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  3. It looks so light and full of flavor

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  4. I'm bookmarking this recipe. I love that kind of salad. I never knew the pecans could be so easy!

    http://jeanneselep.blogspot.com/2011/06/easter-hutch.html

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  5. I made this salad for lunch yesterday and my dh and I both loved it. I plan on making it again and maybe adding chicken, shrimp, or salmon to it. TFS!!

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  6. YUM! This looks goooood! Making me long for summer as we're in the depths of winter over here! :) Thanks for the recipe!

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  7. I've never seen anything like this before. Thanks for the recipe and for the tips on how to prepare it. I will make this with pecans since you say so too!

    Best wishes for a lovely week,
    Natasha.

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  8. visiting from life made lovely :) i was so excited when i saw your picture with spinach, strawberries, and mandarin oranges bc i make a very similar salad for my husband and i. i love your twist on it and ill be trying this soon, thanks for a new look on one of my favorite salads! hope youre having a fantastic week!

    katie@little things bring smiles

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  9. This sounds so good! Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing :)

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  10. My mouth is watering...yummy! I like the idea of adding candied pecans...I can't wait to try this..thanks!

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  11. Thanks everyone! I hope that you all are enjoying this recipe! Since summer is in full swing, I make this frequently! Let me know if you have any variations! I love when others think up new things!

    ~Jill

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  12. Love spinach salad. Will have to try this one!

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  13. I am in love with salads this summer. This one looks delicious!

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  14. YUM! I love salads with strawberries in them! I've made one similar to this before but also sprinkled on bleu cheese, which is a nice complement.

    Stopping over from the Whatever Goes Wednesday link party. :)

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  15. This recipe is amazing! It must be a hit wherever you take it!

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    1. Thanks so much Sinea! You are too sweet!

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  16. I am having a summer cookout next month with an estimated 25-26 people coming. Would you recommend doubling both the ingredients and dressing?
    Sounds yummy! Char Riippi

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    1. Char-your guests will love this salad. It is perfect for any summer party. I would highly suggest doubling both the ingredients and dressing. If anything, you can cut back on the vegetable oil if it seems a little heavy. I hope that your guests enjoy it. Let me know what you think! ~Jill

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