I just read of an online poll asking people whether they've reached the point in which they can tolerate fruit in their green salads or whether they're still "veggies-only" when they toss their greens.
I wasn't aware that this was an issue for folks. I grew up on traditional salads of lettuce, tomato, and French dressing (did any other kinds exist in the '50s?), but to me, nothing's better than a tasty combination of spinach, fruit, and nuts, tossed with a tangy vinaigrette. And now that we've been advised of the major health benefits of eating dark greens, I've subbed spinach for lettuce anywhere I can, including on my (turkey) burgers.
That's why I'm here to tell you about one of the greatest spinach/fruit/nut/vinaigrette salads I've tried in an age. The addition of pears in this salad is absolutely terrific. And talk about healthy--wow! this is a winner in the health category, for sure.
Spinach thrives in cool weather, so local spinach is the most flavorful and affordable in September and October. Spinach is a power-house because it's loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and essential nutrients. It's said to be one of the healthiest foods in the world; it tops most other vegetables. Only 1/2 cup cooked spinach meets the daily requirements for vitamins A and K, according to my chart in "Celebrating a Healthy Harvest."
I have Prevention magazine to thank for this wonderful recipe--actually one of three (you'll likely be seeing the other two soon) that ran alongside its power-food-of-the-month feature--this time on spinach.
Fruity Fall Salad
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups baby spinach
1 pear, peeled, cored, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
In a large bowl whisk oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add spinach, pear, cranberries, walnuts, and onion and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.