Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad with Honey Cider Dressing – an insanely delicious and super healthy salad – perfect for any get together with family and friends!
I’m super excited to share this wonderful Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad with you. I took it to our small group get together this past week and everyone wanted the recipe. So, I figured you might too!
“This salad is insanely delicious”, “What kind of dressing is this? It’s so good!” and “Please tell me this is on the blog!” Those were just a few of the comments that swirled around the kitchen that evening. It seemed that everyone truly enjoyed it.
I don’t know about you, but our 2016 holiday calendar is already beginning to get speckled with a few parties and get-togethers. This seasonal salad would be the perfect dish to serve or bring along to any holiday occasion, as it will be sure to be very popular. Furthermore, it’s easy to put together, feeds a crowd and is pretty enough to elicit lots of oohs and aahs.
I know I’ll be using the delicious dressing on lots of salads in the days ahead. It’s beyond easy to make, as you just throw everything in a jar and give it a good shake. Since there are no unusual ingredients; just olive oil, honey, cider vinegar, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, you probably already have everything you need right in your pantry. I also add a scoop of poppy seeds, just because I think they’re just so darn pretty. However, if you’re not a poppyseed fan, just omit them.
I have a feeling this Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad is going to become a favorite at your house like it already has at mine. This is a little embarrassing, but we’ve already enjoyed it twice this week – and it’s on the menu for dinner tonight too. It’s that good! So pin it while you’re thinking about it so it will be easy to find when those holiday invites start rolling in. Bon Appetit!
Intimidated by pomegranates?
Don’t pay an arm and a leg for the prepared seeds. Check out this easy tutorial – The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Arils, no water, no mess, no kidding!
- For the almonds:
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- To plump the dried cranberries:
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon water
- For the dressing:
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 medium clove garlic finely minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- For the salad:
- 8 cups baby spinach
- 1 large crisp red apple I like Fugi or Pink Lady, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- ½ cup pomegranate arils or seeds**
- For the almonds, preheat oven to 300˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil. Combine slivered almonds, olive oil and honey on the sheet pan and stir to combine. Don’t worry if the honey doesn’t coat all the nuts. Bake for 5 minutes, then stir to redistribute. Repeat 2-3 times (baking 5 minutes, then stirring) until almonds are light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir to separate, then set aside to cool. (See note below* on advance preparation.)
- Combine cranberries and 1 tablespoon water in a small microwave-safe glass (or ceramic) cup or bowl. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap and cook on high for 40 seconds. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool. (See note below* on advance preparation.)
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Cover tightly and shake well. Set aside. (See note below* on advance preparation.)
- For the salad, combine spinach and apple slices. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the dressing over the salad. Top with dried cranberries, pomegranates and almonds. Toss before serving. Pass extra dressing at the table.
*To make ahead:
The cranberries can be prepared a day in advance. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container. Remove from refrigerator and hour before serving.
The dressing can be made up to 1 day in advance, covered tightly, and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator an hour before serving.
The almonds can be toasted up to 1 day in advance; store at room temperature in an airtight container.
** Intimidated by pomegranates? Don't pay an arm and a leg for the prepared seeds. Check out this easy tutorial - The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Arils, no water, no mess, no kidding!