This delicious winter spinach salad is full of flavor and packed with fruit, cheese, and nuts. It is the perfect side salad to all of your favorite dishes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe!
This Winter Spinach Salad is the perfect way to add some color and vitamins to your dinner plate. At our house there is a rule that you must have something green on your plate and salad is the perfect way to do that.
It is full of flavor and color with grapes, apples, dried fruit, nuts and cheese. This salad is not only delicious but it is pretty!
What is Winter Salad?
A winter salad historically, uses produce and flavors that are easy to find in the winter months. It uses winter salad greens such as spinach, arugula and kale and also uses dried fruit which historically was the only fruit you could find in the winter. We are fortunate to have fresh fruit all year round now so this version also includes an apple and grapes. Feel free to make substitutions, using options you prefer. There is no wrong way to do it!
- Baby spinach. Can also use a combination of spinach and arugula or add in some kale.
- Dried cherries or craisins
- Green onions
- Green apple
- Seedless red grapes
- Sugared pecans. Can also use walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts.
- Cheese. I like to use Gorgonzola but you can also use feta cheese, goat cheese or blue cheese.
Vinaigrette Ingredients Needed
- Olive oil
- Apple Cider vinegar
- Dried onion
- Lemon juice. Use fresh squeezed for best flavor
- Maple syrup. Could also use honey
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Winter Spinach Salad
Start by preparing all your ingredients:
- Wash and prepare spinach by removing stems. I like using baby spinach.
- Cut grapes in half. You can use green or red grapes but the red grapes look prettier.
- Chop green onion using both the green and white part.
- Slice apples, leaving the skin on. Follow directions below for keeping apples from turning brown.
- Sugar the pecans using these directions.
- Add dried fruit. You can use any kind of dried fruit such as dried cherries, dried cranberries or dried blueberries.
- Crumble the cheese. I prefer Gorgonzola but you can also use Feta.
- Add dressing.
How to make Spinach Salad Vinaigrette
- Combine dressing ingredients.
- Whisk together.
- Keep stored in the refrigerator. It will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
How to Keep Apples From Turning Brown
- Fill a bowl with enough water to cover the amount of apples you have. Add in 1/2 tsp of salt and stir to dissolve. Let apples sit for a minute or two. Drain and pat dry. It works great! No more brown apples.
Frequently Asked Questions
For full directions on how to sugar the pecans check out my post here.
You can make the vinaigrette and sugar the nuts days ahead. the grapes can be cut in half the day before. The apple can be cut hours ahead of time, just be sure to follow my directions above for preventing the apple from turning brown. I recommend not dressing the salad until right before serving.
This salad makes a wonderful main dish just by adding some cooked or rotisserie chicken, leftover sliced pork or beef.
Other favorite salads include these:
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Winter Spinach Salad
- 10 oz. bunch baby spinach
- 1/2 cup dried cherries or craisins
- 3 green onions sliced
- 1 green apple cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup seedless red grapes cut in half
- 1/4 cup sugared pecans
- 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried onion
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Combine spinach, cherries, green onions, apple slices, grapes and pecans
- Add dressing and toss
- Garnish with Gorgonzola cheese
- Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake until evenly combined
Originally posted Nov. 25, 2009