Spinach Salad with Almonds, Fuji Apple, and Figs

by Robin on October 4, 2009

in 1000 Vegan Recipes,Recipes

Apple season has descended upon the Shenandoah Valley and every fruit stand and farmer’s market is bursting with bags, boxes, and bushels of crisp, beautiful apples in more varieties than I can name. I brought home more than I can easily use, but I’ll try my best. Applesauce and baked apples are definitely in our future, and I’ll soon be baking Jon his favorite apple pie.

Personally, I enjoy apples when they’re combined with savory foods such as roasting chunks of apple with carrots and potatoes to serve with a seitan roast, or sautéing sliced apples with cabbage, onion, and vegan sausage. Apples are also a great addition to salads, like this spinach salad that combines a chopped apple with figs and toasted almonds tossed with a light vinaigrette. You can use any kind of apple you like in this salad and walnuts or another nut can be substituted for the almonds.

I love the way the varying textures and flavors in this salad play off one another. It’s a great salad for these autumn days when the weather’s still warm enough that a refreshing salad seems like a good idea, but you want one that’s satisfying enough to remind you that it’s autumn.

Spinach Salad with Almonds, Fuji Apple, and Figs

This simple salad is easily tweaked to suit your tastes. For example, you can use mixed greens instead of spinach or change the ratio of greens to the other goodies — some people like more greens, others prefer more fruits and nuts. Instead of the figs you can use dried cranberries, and of course, whatever variety of nuts or apples you prefer. For a heartier salad, you can top it with some chopped vegan bacon or smoked tofu. The recipe is in my new book, 1,000 Vegan Recipes, published by John Wiley & Sons.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup sliced or chopped figs
1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch dice

In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste. Blend well and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, almonds, and figs. Add the apple along with enough of the dressing to coat. Toss gently to combine.

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