So very good!
- 5 ounces fresh spinach (half a 10 ounce bag) (or kale)
- 1 and 1/2 cups dry small pasta
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges
- 1 large Granny Smith Apple
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup pecans (toasted)
- Optional: Feta cheese
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2-4 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon each: paprika, onion powder
- 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing.
In a food processor or blender combine the oil, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, (adjust -- more or less to personal preference, we like a less sweet dressing and use about 2 tablespoons) paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds.
Stir in the poppyseeds.
Drain the pasta once it's cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
Combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach (or kale) with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarin oranges.
Slice apple into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
Alternatively, you can candy the pecans if desired.
Top the salad with the pecans and feta cheese.