Years ago, Aunt Gayla brought a salad to a family holiday gathering. We all loved it so much that I tried to duplicate it and my attempts morphed into the spinach salad posted here. For a time, we ate it quite a lot; then we seemed to forget about it. Every now and then one of the girls will say, "Can you make that salad with the oranges and avocados in it when I come home?", and I wonder why I don't serve it more often. The dressing, which has Dijon mustard and a bit orange juice, seems to get in cahoots with the avocado slices and ends up coating the spinach in - family joke here - a "luxurious" way. Don't skip the step where the lemon is squeezed on the avocado because it just lends to the spectacular end result when everything is tossed together. This is truly a salad where the sum is greater than the parts! :)
Ingredients for Four Servings
1 large bag baby spinach leaves ( 8 cups) 2 or 3 clementines or tangerines, depending on size 2 ripe avocados 1 small lemon 1 small red onion 1/2 chopped pecans 1/2 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 2 tablespoons orange juice 1 1/2 teaspoon country Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon pepper
If they are not already washed, then rinse, drain and blot the spinach leaves dry with paper towels.
Peel clementines or tangerines and separate into sections.
Peel and pit avocado. Slice and squeeze the juice of the lemon over the avocado.
Peel and thinly slice the red onion.
Place the spinach leaves, clementine or tangerine sections, avocado slices, red onion slices, and chopped pecans in a large bowl.
In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, orange juice, Dijon mustard, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
Pour dressing over spinach and other ingredients and toss until the mixture is coated.
Divide between four serving plates. This is great served with salmon or chicken!