Foodie Friday -- Not Your Mother's Spinach Salad

My nephew was married on the Saturday before Christmas. As family, we were invited to the rehearsal dinner, so we drove two hours to OKC for the rehearsal dinner. And, boy, am I glad we did!

The food was wonderful, but the caterer's spinach salad was what really caught my attention. It wasn't your regular spinach, eggs and bacon salad.

No-Sirree-Bob! It was chocked full of all sorts of goodies. And let me tell you, I could have eaten this stuff with every meal!

In fact, I made this salad for Christmas--much of the prep work could be done the day before. This was the first time we hosted Christmas dinner, and this salad was definitely on the menu!

Chopped Spinach Salad

Chopped spinach
Pearl Couscous
Dried cranberries
pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
sunflower seeds

I made this recipe for roughly seven adults, and two small batches were sent home with the families.

Chop two 8-oz packages of spinach into bite-sized pieces. Toss with the other ingredients, as desired, though I will tell you that the heavier ingredients do fall to the bottom. Toss periodically with tongs as the spinach breaks down.

Serve within two hours.

Tips & Tricks:
  • Bacon: Chop 1 lb of bacon into small pieces. Cook until crisp, drain the bacon. I used 1/2 the bacon for the spinach salad, the other half for the green beans. I saved the bacon grease to season the green beans, but you can also use to make a vinaigrette. 
  • Pearl Couscous: This is also called Israeli couscous. They cook into puffy round pieces of yumminess. I just followed the directions on the package, but only used 1/2 the amount it made. If you are saving this for the next day, add a touch of olive oil to the cooled couscous as the starchiness of the couscous makes it stick together in a clump.
  • If you want more seeds, add more seeds. The seeds added a nice crunch, while the cranberries added a sweet/tart that was needed.
  • I had a variety of dressings on the side, but thought the Green Goddess dressing was the best on it. If you want to make a bacon vinaigrette, then make it with red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and the remaining bacon grease.
  • I've been making a version of this salad over the last few days--large containers of pepitas and sunflower seeds, yanno. I take about two cups of spinach leaves, chop them, and place into a small Ziploc storage bag, add the other doodads and one Tbls of dressing--shake well.
Enjoy this quick and easy recipe!

Later, Peeps!

Hopefully, I'll be on a regular blogging schedule in the future!


Pepper Phillips said...

Sounds good. I like an easy one with spinach, berries and toasted nuts with a poppy seed dressing. Finding the pearl couscous might be more than difficult in our area. Thanks for something new!

Margaret Golla said...

Pepper--I knew I had to go to the 'rich' part of town to find the pearl couscous, and I did find it there along with the chocolate wafer cookies that no one else seems to carry any more.

Pepper Phillips said...

LOL - The 'rich' part of town is thirty miles away. It was raining too hard today for me to visit the store when I was there, but I'll put this on my shopping list, as I will forget. It's hard enough to find Ginger Snaps here. I especially like the very thin ones but they are rare. Guess I'll have to bake some of my own.

Margaret Golla said...

Gingersnaps are easy to find at WalMart, must be an OK thing.

But I will say that there seems to be a trend of fewer cookie varieties available, and the OREO consortium seems to have taken over the cookie aisle . . .