janet @ the taste space

Spinach, Orange, and Toasted Almond Salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette

In Appetizers, Salads on June 11, 2011 at 6:17 AM

I don’t make salads that often, but with my vow to eat more greens, salads have become an occasional mid-morning snack.

Armed with pounds of juicy Navel oranges, I turned to Radiant Health, Inner Wealth for inspiration. Tess loves to use fresh citrus juice in her cooking, and I was drawn to this recipe because it included some of my favourite ingredients – baby spinach, orange, almonds. However, there’s that pesky raw red onion. At restaurants, I will usually pick the onion out because they can be incredibly spicy and can detract from the rest of the salad.

At home, though, I know the trick to make this onion palatable and a welcome addition to the salad. America’s Test Kitchens recommends soaking the sliced red onion in water for at least 10 minutes, and it actually works. You lose that rawness, but you still get the crisp, clean onion flavour, that complements the salad as opposed to being moody and detracting.  Since I knew I would have some for leftovers, I threw my onions into the leftover dressing, which also works great.

So this salad is everything you think it would taste like. It is light and refreshing with baby spinach, juicy oranges, crunchy toasted almonds and the twist is the light balsamic vinaigrette. And do not fear the red onion if you come over to my place to eat (trust me, if I will eat it, it is ok!). 🙂

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to Veggie/Fruit A Month featuring orange.

Spinach, Orange, and Toasted Almond Salad

8 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 large oranges, supremed and cut in half
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp fresh orange juice
1.5 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup)
1/4 tsp poppy seeds
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tamari or soy sauce

1. Mix together the orange juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, poppy seeds, salt and soy sauce.

2. Slice red onions and place in water for 10 minutes, or in the marinade if using for leftovers.

3. For each serving, plate baby spinach, scatter orange segments and onion, douse with dressing and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Serves 4.

  1. I love mixing fruit into salads. And toasted nuts are an amazing addition as well! Salads are one of my go-to pre-dinner snacks right now since the lettuce at the CSA I’m working for is in high gear.

  2. I”m going to be getting a TON of leafy greens in my CSA starting next week and this is the exact kind of recipe that I need in my repertoire! I actually don’t mind raw onions so much but I usually have to soak them in whatever dressing I’m using for a bit first.

  3. A great combination of flavors in this one. I like red onions–once they are soaked. 😉 Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

  4. Thanks for ur healthy salad dear.will update u when i post the round up

  5. yummy..I am thinking about adding in strawberries too..soaking onions in ice-water usually helps.

  6. Great looking salad. I love red onions with the spinach and oranges.

  7. Ooo good trick about soaking the onions in water!

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