Simple Spinach Salad

The tandem post will be up later this week.

To tide you over, I’m sharing the recipe for a salad that we have pretty much every year at Christmas. We always spend Christmas Eve at Fred’s father and stepmother’s house (we spend Christmas Eve morning with Fred’s mother and stepfather at our house for breakfast), and we usually have spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna (I grew up eating a turkey dinner type meal for Christmas, so this was kind of weird to me the first few times). We almost always have this spinach salad with that meal, and since I’m a fan of raw spinach (forget the nutritional benefits – I just LIKE it; I know, I’m weird), I finally asked for the recipe so we could occasionally have it through the year.

It’s a salad you make ahead, and it’s even fairly good (though wilted) the next day. You can’t save it for longer than that, though – it gets way too shriveled and wilted to eat, though I guess you could always pick out the mushrooms and eat those (okay, you CAN do that – I don’t know why I’m acting like I’ve never done that.)

The ingredients:

Spinach Salad (1)

Sliced mushrooms (you could always buy whole mushrooms and slice them, if that’s what floats your boat), spinach (I use baby spinach), red wine vinegar, minced garlic, spinach, salad oil (I use olive oil). Not pictured: salt and pepper.

First, whisk the red wine vinegar, salt, garlic, and pepper together in a plastic dish.

Spinach Salad (2)

Add the mushrooms, toss, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so.

Put your spinach in a big plastic container, toss with the olive oil.

Spinach Salad (3)

Add the marinated mushrooms (including any marinade left in the dish) to the spinach, toss, and then chill for a couple of hours.

Spinach Salad (5)

This stuff is so good and so easy, I hope you give it a try and like it as much as we do  – I’m looking forward to having it again next week!

Simple Spinach Salad
Prep time
Total time
: Side dish, Salad
Cuisine: Italian? (We always eat it with Italian food, so that's what I'm guessing)
Serves: 4
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic (or more, if desired), minced fine
  • freshed cracked black pepper to taste
  • 8 oz (or more) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb spinach (I recommend baby spinach), washed and dried (or just dump it into the bowl from the bag. I won't tell!)
  • ¼ c. salad oil (I use olive oil)
  1. Whisk red wine vinegar, salt, garlic, black pepper together in a plastic dish with a lid. Add mushrooms, toss, and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Toss the spinach and oil together in a large bowl with a lid. Add the marinaded mushrooms and marinade. Toss, chill, and serve.
  3. The amounts of oil and vinegar can be adjusted to taste; the amounts listed in this recipe are just our personal preferences.



Simple Spinach Salad — 18 Comments

  1. agreed — raw spinach in a salad isn’t much different than lettuce. But the cooked stuff? NO THANK YOU!!!!! My mom’s version has a little ketchup mixed in the dressing and it’s yummy!

  2. I love spinach salads because they don’t need a lot of extras, and what extras you add are really highlighted. My favorite is strawberries, glazed pecans and dried cherries with a light balsamic.

  3. Robyn, Here is another take on this good salad for the dressing. You would probably want to eat this the same day though. Cut fresh bacon in to pieces and fry in to bits, add the dressing ingredients and pour over the spinach. I have also had it with mandarin oranges and the bacon dressing, that was good too. My mom made for us, and I do my self now, make steamed fresh spinach and put balsamic vinegar and pepper on it. Yummy if you like vinegar. 😉

    • This sounds good! Obviously there’s a whole world of spinach salads I haven’t explored yet and need to. 🙂

      Years ago, Fred used to make a spinach salad with bacon, dates, and a feta cheese dressing. It was to die for!

  4. Not a fan of raw spinach. It feels too squeeky on my teeth. But I do like cooked spinach, as long as it’s wilted on sauteed red onions and garlic. Nom.

  5. Love raw or cooked spinach! This sounds good if I leave out the fungus. Yuck!!! The key to making cooked spinach taste good is a little bit of apple cider vinegar drizzled over it. Really.

    I have a simple one that I do that uses bottled italian dressing (Amanda’s clutching her pearls now) and grated mozzarella cheese. Unfortunately now that Kraft has discontinued making Seven Seas Viva Italian I can’t find one that’s got the same zest and flavor. Every single one I try is too sweet. Italian dressing is NOT supposed to be sweet dammit!

  6. There is a pizza joint here called “Sauce” that makes a salad to DIE for. They take panchetta, fry it up in a little oil (if you don’t it will smoke up the house), drain and set it aside and then they take those drippings and add basalmic vinegar and stir until it reduces then throw that into the salad, crumble up some goat or feta cheese and viola! It is really good. I’ve also added almonds to it from time to time.

  7. The Country Woman, Dree, makes an amazing spinach salad. She cooks her mushrooms and onions. The recipe is incredible. I like your recipe as well. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and great New Year!

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