I have always associated salads to the summer. Probably because that’s the season when we eat most of it back home. The ones my family makes are usually pretty simple. They mostly consist of seasonal lettuce leaves combined with tomatoes in the summer. In the winter we often add fresh fennel to it. We always season our salads the same way: extra-virgin olive oil, salt and oregano. Sometimes we also add balsamic vinegar. That’s it.
I don’t mind other dressing either, especially when I eat out. As long as they are not too overpowering. Isn’t the best part of a salad when you can taste every single ingredient of it?
And as much as I do enjoy eating it the way I am used to from home, I am always happy to try different varieties. Like this one. We were eating at a restaurant not too long ago, and we ordered a salad that came with gorgonzola, cranberries and pecans. I remember asking the waiter if he could replace the gorgonzola with a different cheese. And the result was feta!
Once the vacation was over and we got home, I could not forget that incredibly tasty salad! I tried making a similar one. I sticked with the feta, and often replaced the pecans with almonds (you need to try out both though!) Same with the cranberries, that I have replaced once in a while with pomegranate seeds. I love how well the sweet and little sour taste blend with each other.
Since I discovered this recipe I must have eaten the biggest quantities of salads ever! Especially during the winter. And I still can’t get enough of it.
It’s not the typical salad you would find in Southern Europe. I’d describe it more like a cross-cultural salad with Mediterranean flavors.
I hope I could motivate you to try this one out! Once you have, you will immediately understand my excitement :)
- baby spinach (or any other green leaf lettuce)
- homemade croutons
- feta cheese
- almonds, halved
- dried cranberries (or fresh pomegranate seeds)
- (extra-virgin) olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- Cut the bread (even better if it's leftover bread!) into cubes. For more rustic croutons, simply pull pieces from the bread without using a knife.
- Place them in a pan. Sprinkle with olive oil and oregano.
- Roast them at medium to high heat until they turn golden brown and crunchy.
- Wash the spinach and drain well. Place in a large bowl.
- Chop or cut the almonds into half. Toast them in a pan at medium to high heat for a few minutes until they get a little darker.
- Top the spinach leaves with croutons, chopped feta cheese, almonds, cranberries or alternatively fresh pomegranate seeds.
- Season with (extra-virgin) olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano and salt.
- Serve immediately.
- When I run out of almonds, I replace them with toasted chopped pecans (try the honey roasted, so good!).
- I chose not to add any exact measurements. Feel free to add the quantities that you prefer.