Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rosemary's Spinach Salad - Cathy

There are an awful lot of wonderful spinach salads out there, but this one is truly exceptional.  I got the recipe from the most delightful friend, Rosemary Nelson, who brought it to a soccer lunch waaaay back when our daughters, Caity and Abby were on the Judge Memorial Catholic High School Soccer team together.  

Rosemary was the best person to be a sideline soccer mom with; she would pass out scissors and first-grade art work that had been laminated for us all to work on cutting out for her class while we watched the games, and she would tell us the funniest stories about her great students.  I only wished that all three of my kids had been so fortunate to have her as a teacher for one of their years--I think she would have been the most amazing, caring teacher.  Now her daughter, Abby is following in her footsteps and I'll bet she is equally as fun and caring.

So about this salad!  I think it's the combination of the spinach and just the regular good old iceberg lettuce that is at least partly what makes it such a refreshing standout.  Of course the bacon, mushrooms, cheese, pine nuts, and wonderful dressing don't hurt at all, either... I also sometimes add some pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries which add just some extra flavor and beautiful color.

I do miss those old soccer days!


Almost forgot these ingredients!  And the dressing was already made, sorry.  Look at my cute little kitchen helper in the background.  Drooling, no doubt.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish, 2-3 as a main dish.

what you will need:


1 bag pre-washed baby spinach leaves (about 5 oz.)
1 head iceberg lettuce
1/2 c. red onion, chopped (or sliced if you prefer)
3/4 c. sliced mushrooms
1/2 lb. bacon; chopped, fried until crisp and drained well
3/4 lb. Swiss cheese, grated
3/4 c. pine nuts, toasted quickly in a pan
1/4 cup (or so) pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries, optional

(also great for any salad that has fruit in it)

3/4 c. vegetable oil (canola, corn, any light, flavorless)
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. white vinegar (cider is fine, too)
3/4 tsp. prepared mustard (Dijon is good)
3/4 Tbsp. grated red onion (grate on a coarse grater)
3/4 tsp. salt
1-2 Tbsp. poppy seeds 

In a large bowl combine the salad ingredients.  Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake it up, or just in a bowl and whisk it up if you'd rather, but make sure you get all of the sugar dissolved. 

When ready to serve, pour some (not all!) of the dressing over and toss to combine, adding more dressing if you think you need it.  Okay, now I'm hungry.  Think I'll go make some salad.  I miss you Rosemary, and the rest of the Judge Soccer gang!