Whenever we host guests over the holidays we make sure that there are some lighter options for our guests to enjoy. So many of the delicious meals that we take part in at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are heavy and rich so it is nice for everyone to have a healthier dish available. This salad is also a great filler for vegetarian guests who won’t be eating Turkey, Ham or other meats that most of your guests will fill up on.
Festive Spinach Salad Recipe
4 cups Baby Spinach
3 tbsp Crumble Chevere
3 tbsp Toasted walnuts or pecans
1 Beet, roasted and julienned
¼ c Pomegranate Seeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil (for roasting beet)
Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients
4 tbsp Balsamic Vinaigre
1/2tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Pinch of Italian Spice Mix
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
2. Wash & dry Spinach and set aside
3. Cut beet in to quarters, wrap in aluminum foil with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper, roast in oven for 30-50 minutes (until tender)
4. Whisk first six vinaigrette ingredients together then continue whisking while slowly adding EVOO
5. Wait for beet to cool and then peel the skin and slice julienne style
6. Make a bed of Spinach on each plate and top with Salad ingredients and vinaigrette just before serving
Serves: 2 as salad course or 4 as side salad
Total Time: 1-1.5 hours
This festive spinach salad would also pair well with a weekday dinner or be an easy dish to bring along to a pot luck. You can cut an hour off of the total time involved if you purchase roasted beets, roast them in advance or leave them out. The Balsamic Vinaigrette is a very versatile dressing that can be used with a variety of dressings and toppings. If you can’t find pomegranate seeds you can substitute dried cranberries or fresh strawberries. Walnuts can be replaced with pecans or if you like a sweeter salad you can use candied nuts instead. If you are serving this buffet style we always recommend that you let guests dress their own salads as this will ensure that the salad doesn’t wilt. You can premix all of the ingredients and place in a covered bowl in the fridge before serving to keep the spinach fresh.
Check out our blog for more recipe ideas from Chef Juan!