Even summer salads may need to lighten up
Special to The Washington Post
The traditional spinach salad with crumbled bacon is delicious, but it’s also loaded with fat, sodium and extra calories.
To render it healthful, I combine tender leaves of baby spinach with orange segments, strawberries, toasted pecans and a light dressing made with fresh orange juice and zest.
I save the bacon for the splurge of a BLT on another occasion.
To make the salad into a meal, top with grilled salmon.
The extra orange dressing can serve as a sauce for the fish.
Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Oranges andToasted Pecans
4 side-dish servings
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange ( 1⁄4 cup juice, 1 teaspoon zest)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
2 teaspoons honey, or more to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed and dried (about 6 cups)
2 large navel oranges, cut into segments (see NOTES)
8 ounces strawberries (hulled), small ones cut in half, medium ones quartered, large ones cut into eighths (a generous 1 cup cut-up)
1⁄2 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped (see NOTES)
Prepare the dressing: Whisk together the orange juice, zest, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil to form an emulsified dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The yield is a scant 12 cup. Place the spinach in a salad bowl or on individual plates. Scatter the oranges and strawberries over the spinach; top with the toasted pecans. If making one large salad, pour 14 cup of the dressing over the salad and toss to mix. If making individual salads, drizzle a tablespoon over each salad. Serve immediately.
Pass the remaining dressing on the side, or save for another use.
NOTES: To segment the oranges: Use a sharp knife to cut off the top and bottom of both oranges; stand each orange on end. Working vertically around the oranges, one at a time, use a sharp paring or serrated knife to cut away and discard the peel and white pith. Working over a bowl, slice between the membranes to remove all the orange segments, letting them drop into the bowl.
Toast the nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until they are fragrant and lightly browned, stirring often to keep them from burning.
NUTRITION Per serving: 150 calories, 2 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 60 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 11 g sugar