To write this post, I was trying to think back to a month ago, when we ate this salad, on a night when I’m almost sure there was still snow on the ground. I guess there must have been, since that was the night my friend Jackie came over for dinner, and she had to grip the stair railings to keep from falling on the ice on her way inside.
But listen to this: Tonight? I drove home with the windows down, the sun beating on me, and I actually was sweating, if you can believe it. All around me, the grass outside is totally green, there are flowers budding that look like lumps of cotton, and the skies are the perfect shade of blue.
I know I’ve said this before, but it is really spring here. Finally. And honestly, I’ve almost forgotten winter.
I think there’s a lot of value in forgetting sometimes. I mean, it’s not good to forget the story your friend told you yesterday at lunch, but it’s pretty great if you can forget the obnoxious thing that guy said to you at work. And this time of year, I am all for forgetting: forgetting the ice, the snow, the cold, the commutes.
And now that is spring and all, let’s start eating like it.
At its heart, this is a pretty basic salad: just some spinach tossed with sliced apples and oranges, maybe also pecans if you’re like me.
But it’s the dressing that makes things so good: a combination of olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, freshly ground pepper and Parmesan, this topping is sweet and tangy, absolutely perfect as it blends with the acid of the fruits and the texture of the spinach.
I say, this weekend, if you’re living anywhere like Chicago, where Saturday temperatures should be in the 70s (!), put on your tank top and jeans, sit outside in the midst of it all, and eat this nice healthy salad full of antioxidants.
It’s the kind of thing likely to make you forget about anything that isn’t, well, you know, fresh and fragrant, perfectly green and filled with sunshine.
You’ll notice some of these instructions are pretty vague – I’m sorry about that.
Because this salad is so easy, though, you can feel free to eyeball a lot of it with how much you want or don’t want. Try adding in some goat cheese or a variety of different nuts and/or fruits could work here.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna has a Masters in Writing through Depaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.