Spinach salad tossed with a simple vinaigrette is so easy to put together and will have people eagerly digging into the salad bowl. Grape tomatoes and bell peppers add great color to the salad, and pumpkin seeds give it a nice crunch. Read on to here why this is one of Mom’s favorite recipes, or click here to jump down to the recipe.
The best compliment a recipe can receive is that it gets requested a lot. About any time we are having a family gathering at my parents house, my mother requests that I bring a salad. So I figured this Spinach Salad with Simple Vinaigrette would be a good recipe to share for a Mom’s Favorite Recipes Sunday Supper. Thank to Christie Campbell of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures and Wendy Leep Hammond of Wholistic Woman for hosting this one!
There was a period of time when I’d be disappointed to always be asked to make something as basic as a spinach salad for family gatherings. How about a creative appetizer, or maybe my latest soup recipe for a change?
I’ve come around to accept the compliment of being asked to make salads for gatherings. To take something like salad, and make it in such a way you have people eagerly digging into the salad bowl and asking how you made it is a compliment for sure.
One way I keep things interesting is mixing up my salad recipes. In addition to the spinach salad I’m sharing today, other favorite salad recipes are my Baby Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and the Smoky Maple Greens and Cabbage Salad.
Both of those newer salad recipes I mentioned feature a version of the addictive maple vinaigrette recipe that we have all been craving a lot lately. But today’s Spinach Salad with Simple Vinaigrette is my basic salad recipe that earned me the regular salad duties. Baby spinach serves as the base of the salad, then some grape tomatoes and/or colored bell peppers get added for additional color and flavor. And then the cheese–my mother doesn’t eat much meat, but sure appreciates cheese. A generous amount of cheese adds some nice substance to the salad, so my Mom will fill about 80% of her plate with this salad at a gathering, despite the many other offerings available. So I’ll be sure to brings some of this salad on Mother’s Day!
The simple vinaigrette can be whipped together in minutes. Good quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar are key ingredients. A bit of mustard whisked in helps hold it together. I call for parsley in the recipe today, but you can easily swap in other fresh herbs on hand. Basil often finds its way into our simple vinaigrette, either a few julienned basil leaves, or sometimes a teaspoon or two of pesto if I have extra on hand.
When I bring this salad somewhere, I get the spinach, tomatoes and peppers together in the ball. I then pack the cheese, vinaigrette and toasted pumpkin seeds in separate containers. I add the cheese and toss the salad with the vinaigrette right before we are ready to eat, and then sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top for a nice, fresh spinach salad with a bit of crunch. I used to make this salad with toasted almonds, but now go with pumpkin seeds for the crunchy element, due to a nut allergy. You can certainly use almonds if you don’t have the allergy concern.
So if you are a creative cook out there and get asked to make a simple salad, take it as a compliment. You might follow this recipe, or make your own creative variation of it, and have everyone digging into the salad bowl and eagerly eating their healthy greens. Now that will make Mom happy, right?
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped (other fresh herbs such as basil can be used)
- 1 tsp mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
- 5 cups baby spinach
- ¼ cup yellow or red bell peppers, chopped into bite sized pieces.
- 12 grape tomatoes
- 1 tbsp feta cheese
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
- Make the vinaigrette: add the ingredients, garlic clove through the mustard, to a small bowl.
- Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together so they are well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste, and whisk again. Set the vinaigrette aside.
- Place the spinach in a large salad bowl.
- Add the peppers, tomatoes and feta cheese to the spinach.
- Pour most of the vinaigrette into the salad, leaving about a tablespoon in the bowl. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette until the spinach leaves are well coated with the dressing, and the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top of the salad, and you are ready to serve and enjoy!
Mom’s Favorite Recipes for #SundaySupper
Starters (Appetizers, Beverages, Breakfast):
- Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal by Cooking With Carlee
- Frozen Pina Colada by The Redhead Baker
- Goats Cheese Rolls with Honey and Thyme by Manu’s Menu
- Mom’s Banana Bread by Family Around the Table
- Mom’s Famous Poppy Seed Bread With A Citrus Glaze by And She Cooks
- Mom’s Wine Spritzer by Momma’s Meals
Salads, Side Dishes, and Sauces:
- Asiago Bruschetta Roasted Asparagus by Flavor Mosaic
- Italian Country Salad by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Mom’s Cucumbers in Vinegar by Simple And Savory
- Mom’s Homemade Perogies by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Mom’s Potato Salad by Palatable Pastime
- Polish Haluski (Pan Fried Noodles & Sauerkraut) by The Crumby Cupcake
- Spinach Salad with Simple Vinaigrette by Cooking Chat
- Zippy Barbecue Sauce by Amee’s Savory Dish
- Chicken and Egg Salad Sandwich by The Freshman Cook
- Grilled Chicken with Poblano Cream Sauce by Casa de Crews
- Fried Smelt by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Granny Smith’s Meatloaf by Get the Good Stuff!
- Jean’s Best Vegetable Soup by Food Lust People Love
- Lemon & Garlic Herbed Roasted Chicken by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Mama’s Favorite Southern Fried Chicken by The Chef Next Door
- Mom’s Cheese & Onion Enchiladas by The TipToe Fairy
- Mom’s Lentil Toastadas by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Mom’s Moussaka by My Life Cookbook
- Shirley’s Potato Soup by Our Good Life
- Mom’s Spare Ribs To Go by An Italian in my Kitchen
- Mom’s Sukiyaki: Japanese Beef and Vegetables Hot Pot by Asian In America
- Myra’s Super Supper by Tramplingrose
- Pizza Meatloaf by A Mind Full Mom
- Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls by Cookin’ Mimi
- Apple Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Apple Crisp by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Baklava by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Brown Sugar Pudding by Un Assaggio of Food, Wine & Marriage
- Butter Balls by Feeding and More
- Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake by Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cheesecake by What Smells So Good?
- Crustless Pecan Pie Rice Pudding by Desserts Required
- Double Layer Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Chocolate Buttercream by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Easy Classic Date Squares by She Loves Biscotti
- Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Cake by What The Fork Food Blog
- Homemade Chocolate Cherry Candies by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Hungarian Crepes: Palacsinta by My Gourmet Connection
- Lemon Cookies with White Chocolate and Mint by The Finer Cookie
- Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze and Roasted Strawberries by Turnips 2 Tangerines
- Mom’s Apple Pie by Wholistic Woman
- Mom’s Famous White Icing by Monica’s Table
- Moms Mayonnaise Cake by My World Simplified
- Pavlova with Raspberries and Cream by Caroline’s Cooking
- Rocky Road Brownie Sundae for Mom by The Weekend Gourmet
- Rose Shortbread Cookies by Baking Sense
- Sour Cream Cheesecake by Magnolia Days
Plus What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day plus Mom’s Favorite from Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.