Craisen Spinach Salad with Candied Almonds and Citrus Vinaigrette

How’s that for a long food title? I just wanted to sound fancy. Really it should say “the most freaking delicious spinach salad you’ll ever have”. I know there are like 452,693 spinach salad recipes floating around pinterest, but this just might be the best one you’ll ever have. My sister passed this along to me years ago and it always gets rave reviews. I made it for a barbecue with neighbors tonight and I kid you not, Grandma Judy grabbed a big spoon and ate the rest of the salad straight out of the bowl for dessert. Even the tough tattooed guys called it “beautiful” and went back for seconds, and I wouldn’t have pegged them as the spinach salad eating type. I suppose this in a non discriminatory equal opportunity salad. So go make a big bowl for your next party or get together and watch how quickly it disappears.

*the strawberries are the only seasonal fruit, so I leave them out if they’re not available and it’s still delicious

1 pkg spinach
1 chopped apple
1 can mandarin oranges
½ C crasins
1 C sliced strawberries
½ C slicedAlmonds
¼ C sugar

Dressing:
zest of one lemon
2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbs vegetable oil
2 1/2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seed

Put almonds and sugar in a small pan and heat over high heat. Stir constantly until sugar melts, coat evenly then transfer to a single layer on a plate and refrigerate. Mix dressing ingredients well then set aside to let the sugar dissolve. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl then top with almonds. Right before serving, stir dressing then drizzle on salad and mix well.

*Source: Janessa Cazier

 

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