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baby spinach, orange & feta salad

I’m pretty much a lousy patient. For starters, I’m notoriously bad about calling the doctor in the first place.  Give it a day or two, it’ll pass. I’m sure of it. (That gene’s on my mother’s side.) Frequently I’ll forget and need reminders nagging to take my medicine, or I’ll fail to drink enough water when I do. And that whole “bed-rest” thing…that’s for someone who’s, you know… sick!

I made an exception this time. Allow me to boast (I may never have another opportunity like this one again) – this time I was an exceptional patient. (Except for that whole wasteful bed-rest thing.) I’ve been fighting (well, not me alone) a very nasty infection. I’m pleased to announce : we’ve won! I took my medicine. I drowned myself in fluids. I ate my spinach. And you should too! (How quickly we turn smug and start to nag!)

Baby Spinach Leaves, Orange & Feta Salad 

in a Walnut-Citrus Vinaigrette

~

Baby spinach leaves

Orange – especially Blood Oranges if you can find them! – thinly sliced

Feta Cheese, crumbled

Pea shoots or seed sprouts

Olive Oil & Walnut Oil

Juice of fresh Lemon

Freshly-Ground Black Pepper

Toasted Walnuts – Optional

~

For each share of salad, about 2 cups of beautiful baby spinach leaves, washed, dried, tumbled into a bowl; peeled and thinly sliced orange, dropped on top. (Reserve as much of the fallen juice as you can.) Vinaigrette – couldn’t be easier. Equal amounts of olive oil and walnut oil. Equal amounts of freshly-squeezed lemon juice and orange juice. (Start with equal parts oil & citrus juice…adjust to suit your taste.) A few grinds of black pepper, and pinch of flaky salt. Stir, drizzle, toss.

Crumble feta cheese over top. Scatter pea shoots or seed sprouts. Toss around a few toasted walnuts if you like. Enjoy with hot soup and crusty bread.

This is SUCH a refreshing delicious healthful salad…you will not believe til you’ve tasted it, how good that walnut oil is as part of the mix!

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Print a copy.

NOTE to my blogging buddies – sorry to have missed so much these last couple weeks. I probably can’t go back and read or comment on everything I’ve missed…I’ve seen such a wealth of it slip by… but I have missed you. 

~

Inspired by Nigel Slater

42 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yum yum health and beauty. Your styling as always – just right. And I am so glad you are on the mend, Mama! Keep taking good care of you!

    November 28, 2012
    • Thank you so much dear girl!

      November 29, 2012
  2. Oh, spree, I’ve been thinking about you all day! I’ve been worried sick.. well, I’m not sick, but you were (you both were?) and I was worrying. In fact, I had a missed call from Oregon and I was certain it was you and not a marketing sales call. I’m so glad you’re on the mend, you must try bed rest, I highly recommend it.. and having someone serve you this salad in bed.. maybe with a book to read, also awesome. I guess if you were both sick, it’s tough to find someone to do that for you. Lovely salad.. and I’ve bought hazelnuts to try your last one.. so it’s going to be a healthy week in Smidge’s kitchen:D xxx love, Barb

    November 28, 2012
    • Oh Smidge, you’re so dear! Didn’t mean at all for you to be worrying! When I said I wasn’t fighting it alone, I meant I had doctors and antibiotics on my side. Guinea was an awfully good nurse as it turned out! 🙂 Cute in his scrubs! And between you and me, I did kinda fib just a little in this post, because (though I didn’t Call it bed-rest) it pretty much was. For a time, I just couldn’t help it! Looking for Really good books, if you have any in mind, I’d welcome the recommendations! Though someone reading Winnie the Pooh to me would be just about perfect too. 🙂 many thanks to you! xx love, spree

      November 28, 2012
  3. Beautiful salad and just what I need in my repertoire given how much we overate during thanksgiving. Glad you beat the infection and are feeling better.

    November 28, 2012
    • Thank you very much Richard! I agree, salads like this need to be on the table as a balance to all that tempts this time of year!

      November 29, 2012
  4. Way to win Spree! I knew you would 🙂 So sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather – would you know I’ve succumbed to a cold? Yuck! Anyway I love this combo and you are speaking my language with that dressing. Ever since France I’ve been in a love affair with walnut oil salads! Yum!

    November 28, 2012
    • Colds can be Awfully Yucky Shira…I so hope yours is in and out again quickly! Good food can only help, right? 🙂 I’m with you on the walnut oil in salads – incredible! (that last word spoken of course using our best French accents!) xx

      November 29, 2012
  5. Glad to read you’re on the mend, Spree, and that you had GP there to nurse you back to health.
    This salad looks so light and refreshing, just what’s needed during these next few weeks of holiday parties and endless eating.

    November 28, 2012
    • Thank you John, very much. Now I’m headed over to the Bartolini kitchen to get a heavenly nose-ful!

      November 29, 2012
  6. Ali #

    Agreed the perfect food for the season, and frankly every season! So glad you are feeling better, but I must say, only you could pull off a tremendous thanksgiving meal, hosting company and travel, feeling the way you did. You are amazing! Xoxo

    November 28, 2012
    • Ali, way too high a praise…but having you all here while I drug myself around was lovely! xoxo!

      November 29, 2012
  7. Wonderful winter salad – the walnut oil is a real kicker. Glad you’re recovered and back writing.

    November 29, 2012
    • You’re so right Roger – the walnut oil takes this over the top. It can be such a revelation when we discover that some of the most exquisitely delicious foods are so beautifully uncomplicated.

      November 29, 2012
  8. Congratulations on the victory – I’m most impressed :D. I’ve not been ill for so long… I’m actually starting to crave it… :D. Still, that salad looks exceptionally yummy 😀

    November 29, 2012
    • Just a wee word to the wise…don’t crave THIS one! Crave the sniffles and the little aches in the joints. Crave all the TLC in the form of tea, and hugs, and soups, that follows. Oh, and yes, do crave this salad! Sick or well, it’s a good one! 🙂

      November 29, 2012
      • Haha – duly noted! I shall keep that in mind… and tell my immune system!

        December 2, 2012
  9. I am glad that you are feeling better 🙂
    Your post made me smile, I am a horrible patient myself and as a result a simple flue ends up in a fever and a cough that lasts for 2 months because I never commit to my meds lol
    I have to confess that I only eat spinach in soup but your salad is tempting me to make peace with popeyes favorite vegetable 🙂

    November 29, 2012
    • Thank you so much Sawsan! I figured you for a patient like I am! 🙂 (We recognize each other from a distance, don’t we!?)
      Only in soup? Oh, love, you’re missing something quite lovely! Tender baby leaves kissed by citrus, with a tumbling of salty cheese. Even for one with her mind made up, it’s worth a go! Let me know if you do!

      November 29, 2012
      • Hello Ani,
        I went looking for baby spinach leaves but could not find them any where 😦
        Any chance this could work with regular fresh spinach? (I mean using big leaves and tearing them up instead?)

        December 3, 2012
        • Oh Sawsan, so sorry! Where we live, we can find plastic bags, or tubs, or in bulk, freshly washed, newly-picked baby spinach leaves. If all you can find is large-leafed mature spinach, that probably won’t be the best substitute. That spinach does better with cooking (like you do in your soups.) the baby spinach is tender and almost sweet. If you have available mache or baby lettuces or even butter lettuce, these might be better substitutes for that tender baby spinach. Let me know, ok?

          December 3, 2012
  10. Feta + Oranges = perfection

    November 29, 2012
    • Clearly spoken by one who knows! Yes, you’ve got the math exactly right!

      November 29, 2012
  11. carolyn #

    I like you smug or nagging or flirting or even moping (i’ don’t think i’ve seen any of those aspects of you). The point is, i like you anything but sick!

    I want to cut oranges like that. And is that soup in the background? I’m always trying to figure out what’s in the blurry parts. Such beautiful pics that make me hungry and curious all over. every time!

    Stay well and take your bed-rest with your vitamins! love!

    November 29, 2012
  12. What a beautiful winter salad – so healthy and delicious.

    November 30, 2012
    • Thank you! It is pretty pretty isn’t it? 😉

      December 2, 2012
  13. So glad to hear you are on the mend, Spree, and feeling so much better. I love this salad…so good for what ails you or for anytime. Feta and oranges were made for each other, and all the iron from the spinach, well, it just has to be good for you, as well as tasty!

    November 30, 2012
    • Feta and oranges WERE made for each other weren’t they?! I go through various salad kicks – do you too Betsy? – currently this is it. Probably had this three times the past couple weeks. It must be those luscious juicy newly harvested oranges calling my name. Thanks for the kind words Betsy!

      December 2, 2012
      • I do indeed go through various salad kicks, Spree, and especially in the summer! 😉

        December 2, 2012
  14. Great looking salad. I love oranges with spinach but haven’t made it with feta.

    November 30, 2012
    • Karen, this salad was so delicious! The burst of juicy citrus with that creamy saltiness of sheeps milk feta was just meant to be enjoyed together! 🙂

      December 1, 2012
  15. I love oranges sliced like this. Stunning photos!

    November 30, 2012
    • Thanks for the kind words!

      December 1, 2012
  16. Is that a salad or a work of art? Gorgeous! Sorry to hear you were sick, and glad to hear you’re on the mend. Don’t feel bad about not keeping up with all your blog reading, commenting, responding etc. It’s hard to keep up at the best of times, let alone when you’re not well.

    November 30, 2012
    • Thank you very much Mar!

      December 1, 2012
  17. So very very pleased to see you back in the land of the living and creating, this looks recuperative and delicious food, yummy….oh yes and a work of art – I agree 🙂

    December 1, 2012
    • Thank you my friend! We’re currently quite smitten by this salad.

      December 2, 2012
  18. Good to hear from you and especially that you are up and about an dfeeling much better.
    What can I say, such wonderful photos, and a wonderful tasty salad. Consider it bookmarked 🙂

    December 3, 2012
  19. Deb schneider #

    You always post things so timely. Oranges take me back to Christmas morning where they hung with nuts & candy canes in the red mesh stocking! Love eating them this time of year so thanks for the great salad recipe. Going shopping today! Grateful you are taking care of yourself & healing. Xo

    December 3, 2012
  20. Ditto… stunning photos and salad. Simple but elegant and I also love the walnut oil. I use to carry it in my store. It’s expensive but oh so special. feel better..x wendy

    December 3, 2012
  21. I do like Nigel’s work (here on Australian TV). This salad would be my salvation too, I think…delicious! I’m glad you yielded and are on the mend… :O)

    December 4, 2012

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