Cranberry Orange Spinach Salad
Cranberry orange spinach salad with quick candied walnuts is perfect for easy festive season dining. Bright colours, flavours, and plenty of crunch make this easy salad a deliciously memorable treat.
Living in Johannesburg, the festive season always comes at the height of summer. This is wonderful because everyone is at home for at least a month. It’s a terrific time to relax around the pool, grill, and join summer madness with festive season fun.
However, it’s taken me years to adjust my festive season menus accordingly. I still crave the foods I remember from my childhood holidays — greens, popovers, roast beef, and plenty of baked goods. But, summer is not a time when anyone wants to spend a long, hot day in the kitchen or eat lots of heavy food.
So, I’ve found ways of using some of the other things I associate with the holidays — like walnuts, oranges and cranberries — in dishes that are easy to make — and enjoy — in the heat. This salad uses the gorgeous baby spinach which is so abundant at this time of year.
However, if you live in a cooler climate, you could just as easily make the same salad with finely shredded kale. Simply massage the dressing into the greens at least 15 minutes before serving, and add the other ingredients at the last minute.
About this Recipe
Cranberry orange spinach salad is quick and easy. If you’re anything like me, though, you like to do as much of your festive season prep in advance.
That’s one of the things I love about this salad. You can easily make the dressing the night before by simply tossing the ingredients into a jar with a screw top lid. Shake it up and set it aside until serving time. Then, a 30 second shake should emulsify everything and you’re ready to go.
The orange and thyme infused vinegar takes mere minutes to make. It can easily be made a month or two ahead of time. In fact, I like to stock this well ahead of the holidays for easy prep throughout the festive season.
The candied walnuts are quick to make (about 10 minutes). These will keep for 3-4 days if you don’t live in a humid climate. So, go ahead and prep them a few nights ahead of time.
Last, but not least, you can easily wash and spin dry your spinach a couple of hours before your serving time. This will give the leaves plenty of time to air dry so that the dressing adheres better.
|Quick Candied Walnuts|
|Orange and Thyme Infused Vinegar|
Most of all, I hope your family enjoys this deliciously easy salad every bit as much as mine does. Bon appétit!