~ Balsamic Spinach Salad ~
Ingredients for Salad:
2 packages of fresh Spinach leaves
3/4 cup pre-chopped nut of your choice - Toasted Pecans, Walnuts, Almonds or Pine nuts are best.
3/4 cup dried Cranberries - Craisins work great and if you don't like Craisins, you could omit for Dates or Raisins.
1/2 cup crumbled cheese of your choice - Goat, Feta, Gorgonzola or Blue. I prefer Feta.
Optional: Apples, Grapes, Rasberries, Pears, Celery, Cucumber, Red Onions, Croutons.
Ingredients for Dressing:
2/3 cup Olive Oil
6 TBS. Sugar
4 TBS. Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar - I love Balsamic Vinegar so much that in all my times of making this, I've never used Red Wine Vinegar.
2 TBS. Sour Cream - Low fat or fat free taste equally as good.
1 tsp. Dijon or Honey Mustard
In a bowl, combine all Salad ingredients. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the Dressing ingredients; shake well. Drizzle over salad and toss. Serve immediately.
Caution - Once the dressing is on the salad, it does not save well. I advice if you are only having the salad alone, to put the desired spinach amount in a bowl and drizzle the dressing over that one serving. Then save the salad and dressing for another day. The dressing stays good for a few days in the refrigerator. It will get hard but all you have to do is shake it and let it sit at room temp. for a few minutes.
If I were to make this salad tonight, I would make it as follows: Spinach, no nuts, Dates, crumbled Feta cheese, Celery, Pears, and Herb Garlic Croutons with Balsamic Dressing. Yummmm!