Bread Salad + Cranberries + Spinach / by Rattaya Nagorski

BREAD SALAD + CRANBERRIES + SPINACH

The original recipe for this dish was actually Bread Salad with Cranberries, Spinach, and Chicken from Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2008. Yes, going back to the old style (and preferred) Cooking Light, when stories mattered rather than "let's see if we can compete with Food Network magazine." Now Cooking Light has shied away from what they were great at, which was great foodie stories and well-rounded recipes, to just nice pictures and trendy recipes. 

Sorry I didn't get the chance to take a picture of this yummy salad! I will when I make it again!

 Photo by -slav-/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by -slav-/iStock / Getty Images

Anyhow, I made this as a side salad, omitting the chicken and it was wonderful. I also omitted the olives, in which I'm sure added some salty punch to the salad, but it was fine without it. It might look like a lot of ingredients for a side salad, but add a grilled chicken breast or a soup, and voila, awesome side dish.

VINAIGRETTE:

  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp cranberry juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

MAKE: Add shallots and garlic to a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with a little olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in red wine vinegar, orange rind, juices, honey, fennel, black pepper, and salt. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 1 minute). Remove from pan, and cool completely.

SALAD:

  • 6 cups loosely packed spinach (about 6oz) 
  • 2 1/2 cup cubed French bread, toasted (about 4oz)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted 
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced shallots

MAKE: Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Add cooled vinaigrette; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.