Winter Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
This hearty Winter Salad is tossed with a light citrus vinaigrette and loaded with bacon, cranberries, red onion, toasted pecans and crumbled feta cheese!
Servings 4 people
FOR THE SALAD:
- 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 (5 ounce) container fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans
FOR THE CITRUS VINAIGRETTE:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons orange juice + ½ teaspoon orange zest
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon minced green onions
- ¾ teaspoon salt
Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Place all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar, seal the lid, and shake until completely combined. Drizzle over the salad, toss, and serve immediately.
- I used a 5-ounce container of baby spinach leaves here, but you can increase the amount of spinach (and other toppings) to accommodate the size of your group.
- If you like a lot of dressing, or if you're doubling or tripling the salad ingredients to serve a larger crowd, you can easily double or triple the dressing ingredients as well.
- Prepare the dressing in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving, and whisk or shake at the last minute to combine.
- Add sliced pear to the salad.
- Substitute fresh pomegranate seeds in lieu of the cranberries.
- Use goat cheese or blue cheese instead of the feta cheese.
- Swap out the pecans and use chopped walnuts or slivered almonds instead.
- Champagne vinaigrette, poppy seed dressing, or balsamic vinaigrette would all be great winter salad dressings as well.
- Prep ahead! Make sure that you allow enough time to cook and cool the bacon, and to toast and cool the nuts before assembling the salad. For a shortcut, you can purchase pre-cooked bacon at the grocery store. To quickly “toast” nuts in the microwave, place nuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, just until golden brown and fragrant (this usually takes a total of about 1 minute).
- Make it a meal! Add some rotisserie or other cooked chicken to the salad and serve it as a light entree. The salad is delicious paired with corn muffins or warm bread.
Serving: 1/4 of the salad and dressing | Calories: 296.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.7g | Protein: 5.2g | Fat: 21.9g | Saturated Fat: 5.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12.4g | Cholesterol: 19.2mg | Sodium: 790.1mg | Potassium: 250.9mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17.1g