Spinach Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

Photo by es123

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • ½ cup shelled pumpkin seeds

  • 2

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 1

    red onion, sliced into rings

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • ½ cup dried cranberries

  • 1

    ( 6- ounce) bag baby spinach, washed and dried

  • Cranberry Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar

  • 2

    teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1

    small garlic clove, minced

  • 2

    tablespoons cranberry juice (not cranberry-apple or other blends)

  • 2

    teaspoons honey

  • ½ cup plus one tablespoon walnut oil


In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, mustard powder, salt, pepper, garlic, cranberry juice and honey. Add walnut oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Notes: Don’t tell anyone, but I am not the biggest fan of cranberries. I know they are one of our regions great ingredients and I have been slowly working my way to a closer relationship with them. Here’s a riff on a warm spinach salad that gets a nice burst of flavor from you guessed it—cranberries. The salad is a simple mix of baby spinach with sliced red onions, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries with a sweet and tart dressing that repeats the cranberry theme with some cranberry juice. What makes this delicious and inviting, is that the pumpkin seeds get fragrant and crunchy from a quick pan toasting, the onions are slowly cooked so they get sweet and unctuous, then the vinaigrette ingredients get added and heat through just enough to wilt some of the spinach leaves—but not all of them for a lovely texture and terrific flavor—now those are cranberries I can eat.


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