Spinach Salad with Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Maple Roasted Pecans and Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

Is there anything better than biting into a big, sweet, juicy cherry?

They’re definitely in my top 5 for the best fruit. And trust me, that’s a tough spot to earn! I love pretty much any and all kinds of fruit.

Except cantaloupe and honeydew. I don’t what it is, just get it away from me. And stop putting it in ALL of the bowls of mixed fruit. Why do they always have to do that?

All it does is make all of the precious grapes and berries taste like cantaloupe and then everything is RUINED!

Spinach Salad with Maple Roasted Pecans and Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

Sorry for yelling. I get “passionate” about certain things. :)

While you will probably never find a melon recipe on this blog that’s not watermelon, you will find plenty of cherry recipes!

Actually, come to think of it, this might be my first one.

Spinach Salad with Maple Roasted Pecans and Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

Anyways, this salad is a great way to put all of those beautiful cherries to use!

The fresh spinach makes for a mild flavor that really lets the other ingredients shine. Like delicious maple roasted cashews. Try not to eat those straight from the baking sheet, I dare you.

Maple Roasted Cashews

Ya, those are good but the dressing might be the main highlight for me. It’s a vinaigrette made with more of those juicy cherries, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and fresh thyme.

Not only does it taste amazing but it’s bright pink! {insert girly squeal here}

Spinach Salad with Maple Roasted Pecans and Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

I picked the fresh thyme from our herb garden which made it all the more exciting. I don’t know why but feel like I’m winning the lottery by being able to step out on our patio for something that I would normally have to drive to the store and spend $2 to buy. It just makes me so happy!

Patio Herb Garden

Clearly Coco feels the same way.

Happy Coco

I promise she’s not as depressed as she looks. :)

I hope you guys like cherries as much as I do because I have a feeling you’re going to love this salad. Bon appetit, friends!

Spinach Salad with Maple Roasted Pecans and Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Maple Roasted Pecans and Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2 large salads or 4 small

Ingredients

For Salad

16 ounces baby spinach

1/2 red onion, diced

1 cup cherries, pitted and halved

1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese (omit for vegan/dairy-free)

For Maple Cashews

1 cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon coconut sugar or organic brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

For Cherry Vinaigrette

1 cup cherries, pitted

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the cashews with the maple syrup, olive oil, salt and sugar. Toss until evenly coated then transfer to the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes (until light golden brown), stirring half way through.
  2. Meanwhile make the dressing by placing all of the ingredients (cherries to thyme) in a food processor and blending until smooth.
  3. Next make the salads by distributing the spinach on separate plates. Top with diced onion, fresh cherries, cashews and a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese. Serve with cherry dressing and enjoy!

Notes

Inspired by Vegetarian Times

http://makingthymeforhealth.com/spinach-salad-with-fresh-cherry-vinaigrette/