I love salad with fruit. It is always refreshing and sweet. This spinach salad is a really good appetizer or side dish. It is light, crunchy and healthy. It is great to pair with yummy steaks. And, everything can be made ahead of time. This is a salad that can impress your guests. Enjoy!
Spinach Salad with Orange and Caramel Almond Crunch (Adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
– 3 cups (about 5 ounce) baby spinach (washed and dried)
– 2 oranges (orange segments, orange juice and zest)
– ¼ cup sliced almonds
– ¼ cup sliced red onions (thinly sliced)
– ½ cup sliced celery (thinly sliced)
– 1/8 cup white wine vinegar or Champagne
– 1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– ½ tablespoon water
– 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning salad
– cayenne pepper
– ground black pepper
- Line a piece of aluminum foil over a baking sheet. Lightly grease the aluminum foil with vegetable oil and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium-heat, combine 1 ½ tablespoons sugar and ½ tablespoon water. Cook until the mixture turns into a golden amber color, about 3 minutes. Swirling the saucepan occasionally. Add the almonds and stir to coat. Cook the almonds until they are golden brown and aromatic. Place the almonds on the greased aluminum foil. Spread the almond mixture into a thin layer. Let it cool completely. Once they are cool, break them apart into small piece with hands. Set aside.
- For the oranges, obtain the zest with a zester or grater and set aside. Remove the orange peel and cut the white pith. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, cut in between the membranes to release the segments with a thin sharp knife. Reserve the segments in a separate bowl. Squeeze out the juice from the remaining orange part.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1/8 cup orange juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, 1 ½ tablespoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon orange zest, salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Whisk together until blend.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the celery, red onions, orange segments, and almond crunch. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Season with salt and black pepper to your taste. Toss the salad evenly. Transfer the salad to a serving plate and serve immediately.
- This is a great dish to make ahead of time. The dressing can be put in an airtight container. The orange segments, celery and red onions can be store in the fridge separately. When it is time to serve, just toss everything together. Then, you have your delicious salad.
- I love to make extra caramel almond crunch. It is great for snack.