Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing - a delicious, classic salad everyone seems to go crazy over.

I love finding treasures, how about you? To me, they often come in the most unexpected places ……. like this delightful set of salad bowls I’m using for today’s Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing. You’ll never believe where I found them. Scott and I did a bit of exploring last week, discovering an area of southern Virginia, not far from our daughter’s home. We were thrilled to find a recently opened Rails-to-Trails bike path (converted from abandoned rail tracks) that wound for miles through lovely forests, meadows and tiny villages. There was also a classic southern diner (situated in an early 1900’s blacksmith shop), where we enjoyed two delicious meals (it was so good, we went back again!), a fun donut shop (we’re a bit like hounds; we can always sniff out a good donut shop!), a tour of a delightful local farm and lots of other wonderful new “finds”.

Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing - a delicious, classic salad everyone seems to go crazy over.

 You might not consider a thrift shop a “find”, but we enjoy nosing through them when we have time, most often, looking for interesting and unique props for Café photo shoots. While driving through the small southern Virginia town of South Hill on our “adventure day”, I spotted a sign for The Shepherd’s Shop Thrift Store. Screeeech!………. well, not really, but that’s the sound of the brakes you would have heard, had I been driving. Scott (carefully) pulled over and we ventured in, not knowing what a treasure we were about to discover.

We came out with a bagful of fun, but dusty treasures (which you’ll be sure see on the blog in the days to come). When we returned home, I scrubbed each item ruthlessly and was thrilled to discover how beautiful my new wooden salad set cleaned up. As I admired it, I decided this set would be perfect to share one of my all-time favorite salads. Before I tell you about this wonderful salad though, I have to share the story of a far greater treasure we discovered that day.

Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing - a delicious, classic salad everyone seems to go crazy over.

As we browsed through the thrift shop, we had the opportunity to chat with Doug, the manager of The Shepherd’s Shop. He explained that all the proceeds from the shop went to a homeless shelter located right behind the thrift store called The Shepherd’s Inn. We learned that Doug and his wife Jackie had moved to the area to be near their grandchildren and felt “called” to open up this shelter in 2005 for people who found themselves in unfortunate life situations. The shelter’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They serve three meals a day and have housed thousands over the years. We were touched by Doug’s story of selflessness and caring for those who find themselves in difficult circumstances.

Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing - a delicious, classic salad everyone seems to go crazy over.

Doug handed us a business card as we left. On the back was one, simple verse: Matthew 25:37-40. It sums up the high calling of Doug and his wife. You can read more specifics about this amazing ministry here. And if you’re ever in the area of South Hill, Virginia, be sure to pay a visit to The Shepherd’s Shop, who knows what kind of treasure you may find!!

So you see, these bowls are quite special beyond their gleaming exteriors. And the salad ……….. oh my, I got so carried away, I almost forgot to tell you about this fabulous salad; not my own recipe, but definitely another treasure  It’s a winner from one of the most well known restaurants in our area, The Angus Barn. It’s one of those restaurants that everyone wants to go to for special occasions. This salad, with fresh spinach, hard boiled eggs, smokey bacon and a fabulous poppyseed dressing, is one of the most popular items on their menu for good reason. It’s amazing and I crave it when I haven’t bee there for a while.

I was thrilled, when a number of years ago, The Angus Barn shared their delicious salad recipe. Now I can have it whenever I want and that just makes my day. Once you try this Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing, I know you’ll be craving it too!

This post can also be seen on PARADE MAGAZINE.

Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Ingredients
  • Spinach Salad:
  • 8 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, havled and thinly sliced or medium shallot thinly sliced
  • 6 medium or large hard boiled eggs*, shelled and halved or quartered
  • 1½ cups fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 slices bacon, cut in ¼-inch strips and cooked until crisp and golden
  • Honey-Poppy Seed Dressing:
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp dried mustard
  • ¾ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp grated onion
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Spinach Salad:
  2. Place spinach in a large bowl. Add red onion, mushrooms and bacon.
  3. Drizzle with 3-4 Tbsp of dressing. Toss lightly. Serve immediately, pass additional dressing at the table.
  4. Honey-Poppy Seed Dressing:
  5. Combine all dressing ingredients in a medium-sized glass jar.
  6. Cover and shake well. Shake again right before serving.
Notes
This salad is wonderful just as the recipe is written, but can also be made with optional ingredients, if desired. I sometimes add sliced oranges, sliced pears, chopped apples, dried cranberries, crumbled blue cheese, crumbled feta cheese, croutons and/or toasted pecans.
*For perfect hard boiled eggs, place eggs in a medium-size saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil, then cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 12 minutes then drain and place in a bowl of ice water to cool. After 10 minutes drain eggs. Eggs can be shelled at this point or refrigerated for later use.


24 thoughts on “Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing”

  • I LOVE your new look, Chris!!! So clean and easy on the eyes! And this is one of Bill’s favorite salads…I must try your dressing recipe. And hooray for good finds! My tires would have screeched, too 🙂

  • Chris,
    Wow! You have many treats to share with us today-your new design is beautiful-such a clean design, easy to navigate and strikingly professional. Touching story, so refreshing to hear and see the goodness happening in our world-in a time of such inward reflection it is nice to know that there are people who still really care.
    Spinach salad my all time favorite and the salad bowl shined up beautifully!
    Jemma

  • What a wonderful find, Chris! And how good of Doug and his wife for helping the less fortunate. Thanks for an inspiring read. You’ve changed things up a bit! Looks good – nice and clean. I always liked it before as well. 🙂

  • We have been to the Angus Barn several times and love the classic recipes that they serve. Your spinach salad is perfection in a bowl. Love the dressing and will definitely be making this. Funny, I am always scouting thrift shops and antique stores for food props too.

  • As you know, my blog is literally about ‘food and thrift’…which actually is the name of my blog. I could be posting each time about my ‘thrift finds’ but some people might be offended; thinking that I’m a ‘junk collector’…on the contrary, I have been finding lots and lots of treasures…mainly gadgets, bowl, trays, cookbooks, furniture pieces, pretty things that are unusual, and they are all treasures!

    What a beautiful set of wooden salad bowl you found along with the little serving bowls. They don’t even make these any more and they used to be so very expensive! A great find, indeed! Your spinach salad with the honey poppy seed dressing is really amazing and super delicious with the addition of the hard-boiled eggs. I could totally make a meal out of this with some nice crunchy bread!

    Congratulations on the Parade magazine feature…such an honor, and greatly deserved! xo

    • Thank you Amy!! We’re working though a few glitches but we’re really excited! That’s so funny that you found that Bon Appetit link. I just got my new issue this morning and was looking at that article 🙂

  • This salad really takes me back Chris, I remember going out to dinner and always getting spinach salad for the main event and loving every bite. Over the years so many restaurants have “butchered” the original high quality of the original steak house versions with bacon bits [yikes!] rubber eggs and boring dressings. Thanks for highlighting the original goodness! Your eggs really look amazing~

  • New design – wow!

    I laughed at your screeching tires. Years ago my sister and her husband went to Hawaii on vacation. I asked did she have a good time and what did she see. She said they saw it with a vengeance. That is me when I go thrifting.

  • I just bought a clay baker from Facebook through my daughters:) Like a virtual tag sale:)
    Your bowls are so nice..You cracked me up about the ruthlesslly..Ditto.
    This is one of our all time fave salad dressing Chris:)

  • One simple verse, but it means the world. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story with us about The Shepherd’s Shop & Inn, Chris. Doug and Jackie’s story is so inspiring! Love your beautiful salad bowls. Shopping in thrift shops is like going on an exploration to find buried treasure. So much fun…especially when you happen upon a fabulous find. Thanks for sharing your favorite poppy seed dressing and salad with us! Pinning to share!

  • I love finding cool thrift stores, but I have to admit, I’ve never found one as awesome as what you’re describing. I love that Doug and Jackie support the homeless shelter like that. I’m going to make my family do a little road trip just to find them.

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