I often make the kind of standalone salads that are meals in themselves – I like to add stuff like eggs, nuts, seeds, and sometimes grilled meat for a heartier chew. I’ve recently started adding yummy treats like dried fruit and cheese. Spinach is coming up in season now and so here’s an idea you can run with: Kitchen Sink Spinach Salad. You don’t need to follow a recipe – just experiment with different combinations and throw in whatever you have that tickles your fancy. Spinach is more nutritious than lettuce and has a great flavour that really lends itself well to a lot of things. If you can’t stand that squeaky texture raw spinach has, consider serving your salad warm and wilt the spinach first. Almost all of these ingredients are available at the market. For a truly decadent salad, try making your own bacon bits. MMMMmmmmm. (Note: homemade bacon bits seem to taste best if you make them the night before).
Start with fresh spinach, washed and trimmed and torn into bite sized pieces if necessary. If you have a salad spinner, use it – the drier your spinach is, the better. Add your choice of: sliced hard boiled eggs, sliced white mushrooms, a handful of raw pumpkin seeds, a handful of sunflower seeds, a healthy handful of dried cranberries or blueberries, a few tomatoes chopped small, and feta or brie cheese crumbled.
As a dressing, you can whisk together: about a 1/2 cup -ish yogurt (we use plain) with a few tablespoons of lemon juice and high quality oil. Some people like to use mayonnaise instead of oil, but I find it is too thick. You can also add parsley, chives or dill or other fresh herbs and then add pepper and salt to taste.