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Spinach and radish are the first things planted in the spring. While it’s all in good fun, Mom and I will often compete to see who gets theirs planted first in the garden. Since I know you’re wondering: I often win.
The nostalgia of growing spinach and radish may get me as excited as actually picking them. And maybe that’s because Mom would always be super excited to make her first spinach salad of the year. It was a staple growing up, especially in May and June, and I’m not actually sure where Mom came up with the idea. Since this is a take on a church cookbook recipe, I’m guessing she was inspired at some point.
My recipe now is slightly updated, but with the same flavors. It’s a simple recipe, but the result is a flavor combination that’s surprisingly unique.
What is spinach?
Scientifically, spinach is in the Amaranth family and related to quinoa and beets. Spinach is a dark, leafy green that prefers to grow in a slightly cool, moist environment. The leaves are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, making them a superfood.
I love to grow spinach because it’s easy and takes relatively no care. The seeds are planted and within a few weeks, there are leaves to pick! The plants continue to produce leaves for a few weeks, giving plenty of greens to make salads!
What makes a good homemade salad dressing?
Once you start making dressings or vinaigrettes at home, the store-bought ones will seem too thick. The ingredients in this dressing are simple, which makes sense since classic vinaigrettes are often three parts oil to one part acid.
This dressing uses a similar ratio, but the ingredients are slightly different. Along with the oil and apple cider vinegar, ketchup is used. I prefer to use sugar-free ketchup as there’s plenty of sweetness from the honey. The ketchup gives a sweet, salty, and tangy balance to the dressing, similar to a store-bought French dressing.
For a depth of flavor, a little Worcestershire sauce goes a long way. This creates a deep and complex dressing that complements the bright radish and bacon.
Once you start making this salad, it will become a staple at your house as it has in mine! Enjoy!
Watch how to make this spinach salad
Spring Spinach Salad
For the dressing
- 1 cup neutral oil (safflower, grapeseed, vegetable)
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp pepper
For the salad
- 5 slices bacon (optional)
- 2 hardboiled eggs
- 5 oz spinach
- 3 scallion finely diced
- ¾ cup sliced radish
For the dressing
- In a large measuring cup combine the oil, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Whisk until combined and emulsified. Set aside.
For the salad
- Add spinach to the serving bowl. Add half of the bacon, eggs, radish, and scallion. Add about ¼ cup of the prepared salad dressing. Toss to combine and top with the remaining bacon, eggs, radish, and scallion. Drizzle with more dressing as desired and serve immediately.