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Spinach Salad with Pears and Walnuts

Lois Nadel

Author's Note: Everyone always asks for this recipe, and it's great to bring in a beautiful antique or glass bowl to a potluck or gourmet dinner. It has a sweet dressing that even kids like.
 
Ingredients

Celery seed dressing:
 1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated onion
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup corn oil
 
Salad:
2 1/2 pounds spinach
1 large head Romaine lettuce (optional)
2 11-ounce cans mandarin orange segments, drained
2 pears, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced in rings
1/2 cup walnut pieces, sauteed in a few teaspoons toasted sesame oil until lightly brown

Instructions
 
To prepare the dressing, mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, then add the remaining ingredients except the oil. Add oil slowly, mixing with a whisk until the dressing becomes thick.
 
Tear or cut the spinach and optional lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl, then add the orange segments, pears, onion, and walnuts. Just before serving, add enough dressing to moisten and toss.
 
Serves at least 12.
 
Reprinted with permission from New Kosher Cuisine, copyright © 1993 by Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California. Available from your local bookseller, by calling 800-841-2665, or by visiting www.tenspeed.com.

Food Editor's Note: My family is not a big fan of spinach, so I switch the proportions around and use 2 large heads of Romaine lettuce and one bag of spinach. The spinach adds color and extra nutrients, but the Romaine provides the primary taste and crunch, which seems to satisfy everyone. I have served this at a very large Chanukah dinner party to adults, teenagers, and younger children, and it has received rave reviews.

Spinach Salad with Pears and Walnuts
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