This is hands down, one of my mom’s favorite recipes. This salad was her go-to for church potlucks, family celebrations, or any time we craved a good salad. What elevates this salad is the almond vinaigrette. Most spinach berry salads are coated with a sweet dressing like a poppy seed or a Dijon balsamic dressing; this dressing has a balance of the sweetness needed but a subtle savory flavor of almond. I hope that you enjoy this as much as I have over the years!
Spinach Berry Salad with Almond Vinaigrette
Spinach Berry Salad
- 6 cups fresh spinach or spring mix
- 2 can mandarin oranges, drained
- 3 sliced bacon, cooked and chopped, optional
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp almond extract
- couple crack of fresh black pepper
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, salt, fresh cracked pepper and almond extract. Make sure the sugar is dissolved. While whisking, slow steam in the oil along the side of the bowl. Whisk until the oil is blended in.
- In a 400F oven, bake the bacon strips for about 15 minutes, until nice and crispy. Not burnt. While your bacon is cooking, on a small sheet pan, toast your slivered almond in the same oven. about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool and set aside. Transfer to plate covered with a paper towel, pat the grease off the bacon. Allow to cool and then chop.
- In your service bowl, build you salad with adding the drained mandarin oranges, slivered almonds, red onion, and berries. Add the torn spinach on top and lightly salt the top - a few pinches of kosher salt.
- Drizzle the dressing on the side of the bowl and the toss with your hands to enure it is all coated. You can toss with tong, but gentle touch not to bruise your spinach or tear fruit. After a few tosses, add in the bacon - toss just a little more. Your salad should be evenly dressed and items distributed. Ready for service.