Last night I needed a quick salad for dinner. Looking through the frig I realized I didn’t have any fresh romaine. But I had mounds of baby spinach, 2 lbs to be exact. Obviously I got a little excited when purchasing spinach; really, who needs 2 lbs of spinach? But I had 2 lbs of spinach and lots of fresh organic raspberries because my Suzie Q is on a raspberry kick at the moment.
After realizing I had the makings for a great salad I did a little happy dance in the kitchen because I could finally use my new raspberry vinegar. I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to crack open that beautiful bottle.
The salad and dressing was a hit. Beautiful bright green and crisp baby spinach tossed with fresh organic sweet raspberries, toasted walnuts and lovely, sweet but tart, pink raspberry vinaigrette. It was almost too beautiful to eat.
Ok, so now here’s the great part. This yummy salad would make a fabulous light summer meal topped with grilled chicken or crab and shrimp salad. It would also taste fabulous with a warm piece of fresh grilled fish plopped right on top of the salad, to wilt the spinach a little. Then drizzle with extra vinaigrette. It’s a two for one recipe!
6-8 ounces fresh organic baby spinach (about 1-1 ½ packed cup per person for a side salad)
1 pint fresh organic raspberries
¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional, pecans are also a nice option)
3 tablespoons good quality raspberry vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon raspberry preserves (great on scones, toast and use the remaining jar to prepare a savory Raspberry Sauce)
2/3 cup good quality olive oil or grape seed oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Whisk together the vinegar, oil and preserves. Taste for salt and pepper. If you like your dressing sweeter add a bit more preserves. If you like your dressing a bit more “zingy”, add a little more vinegar.
In a large bowl toss the spinach with vinaigrette and then top with fresh raspberries and toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.
To use as an entrée, pair the salad with grilled chicken slices or pieces, chicken salad, tuna salad, crab and shrimp salad or grilled shrimp.