Salad Wednesday – Not Your Typical Spinach Salad

Over 10 years ago, my friend Karen offered to bring a spinach salad to one of our many Sunday night, 5 family dinners. Being the gracious hostess that I was, I gleefully said of course. Then I thought spinach salad, big whoop. Not so exciting, right? Wrong!

Spinach is spinach. It’s great in a baked pasta, sauteed with garlic, tossed in a big pot of lentil soup or eaten on a sandwich instead of lettuce. But spinach tossed with a dressing so out of the ordinary is addicting. The dressing is the perfect balance of savory and sweet therefore the “accessories” that are thrown in with the spinach is what makes this salad a winner.

A few years back, Karen picked up and moved her family back to Florida. But, she left her recipe and all of our great memories behind.

Karen’s Spinach Salad


1 cup grape seed oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup organic white cane sugar
1/3 cup ketchup (I use homemade)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. finely diced red onion
1 lb. fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted or candied pecans
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 oz. pancetta, baked and crumbled
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 hard boiled egg whites, finely chopped


to make dressing:
• combine oil, red wine vinegar, organic white cane sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, diced red onion, and kosher salt in a jar fitted with a tight lid. shake to combine. set aside.
for the accessories:
• preheat oven to 350*
• toast nuts on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes.
• place pancetta on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. bake for 12-14 minutes or until crislpy.
to assemble:
• put spinach in a large wooden bowl.
• top with accessories
• toss with dressing

* anything can be added to this salad; chicken, grapes, bacon, you decide!

The Urban Baker /

More Spinach Salads:
Eggs + Bacon Spinach Salad – Dinasaur Dishes
Roasted Beet and Spinach Salad – This week for Dinner
Kiwi Strawberry Spinach Salad – Savor the Thyme
Radish and Baby Spinach Salad – Sips and Spoonfuls

Showing 14 comments
  • Kristen

    Oh my – that dressing alone is so unique! Looks so good.

    • Susan

      Kristen – it’s also great as a maranade!

  • Reply

    I would love to try this salad. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Susan

      I think this is so up your alley!

  • Amanda

    The combination of these flavors is so new to me… I just love the idea of it though!! Thanks for this recipe… bookmarked! 🙂

  • Simone

    I love the look of that dressing! I can only imagine how great it must taste with that salad (or any other salad I would almost add..)

  • Reply

    Love me a great spinach salad like this. Sounds like your friend know’s what she is talking about!

  • Molly Chester

    Beautiful! Looks delicious. Thanks Susan!

  • Brooke @ Food Woolf

    It’s just that simple, huh? Looks like I’d be silly not to make it. Then I guess I will….

  • Georgia Pellegrini

    I have recently gotten into spinach salads too… but I’m especially intrigued by your dressing. I bet it would be good on so many salads. And I love the bottle 🙂

  • gilli treiman

    We love spinach salad, this is a keeper! Beautiful photography too!

  • jenjenk

    spinach salads are one of my favorite salads – arugula being the other!!! this sounds fabulous!

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