I realize claiming a salad ‘the best’ is risky. Let’s face it, there are some uh.maz.ing salads out there. This one is a keeper, I promise. I feel less cocky claiming this salad’s awesomeness since it’s not mine. One of my favorite peeps in the village introduced me to The Best Spinach Salad at a Christmas party she hosted last year. She and her sister, let’s call them the M-Sisters, are always full of goodness. As with most parties, the women folk gathered in the kitchen and while we were chatting, the M-Sisters asked me to whisk up the dressing for the salad. No problem, I thought, clearly unaware that I was about to eat a salad that I would soon dub The Best.
One of the best things about The Best Spinach Salad is its simplicity. I love the handful of ingredients – I bet you already have most on hand! Five simple ingredients and voilà you’ve got supper. The first basket of the season from our CSA Tecolote Farms arrived on Monday. The basket was overflowing with greens – heirloom spinach, arugula, baby lettuce mix, and curly cress. I tossed a healthy mix of all these greens into the salad last night. Husband and I toasted Tecolote Farms and the M-Sisters as we enjoyed The Best Spinach Salad.
The Best Spinach Salad
4-6 cups fresh spinach
1⁄4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tbs fresh lemon juice (appx one lemon)
4 – 5 tbs extra virgin olive oil *
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Squeeze the lemon into the bottom of a large serving bowl. Add olive oil and wisk until emulsified. Taste and add more lemon or olive oil to taste. Add salt and pepper.
Gently tear spinach and add to the bowl. Top with toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese. Toss and serve.
*The general rule of thumb for making a vinaigrette is a ratio of 3:1. 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, in this case lemon juice. I like this dressing lemony, so I use a more equal ratio.
Also, did you know you should keep pine nuts in the freezer? They go rancid quickly, so keep them in the freezer to prolong their perfect flavor.