Blackberry Honey Walnut Salad

This Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad with Pecans, Avocados (and Marzetti® Simply Dressed® Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing) is so good, you might as well double the recipe when you’re making it! The recipe is filled with so much flavor, that I’m having a hard time finding the right words to describe it but I will try. 🙂 Let’s start with the salad ingredients. They are amazing: fresh produce (spinach), combined with fresh fruit, nuts, and dried cranberries.



Look how pretty the salad looks when all ingredients are mixed together. Just look at all those natural colors. I love to make salads that use the most vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables.

But what really boosts the flavor of this salad and combines all the fresh fruit and the fresh produce together so well is the amazing dressing: Marzetti Simply Dressed Balsamic Vinaigrette. The dressing is so good that my husband, who never eats salads for lunch, ate a whole bowl of it at noon and asked for seconds! Eating a huge amount of salad for lunch is so out-of-the character for my husband that I was shocked.  It is really one of the best tasting store-bought balsamic vinaigrettes that I ever tried!



What I also love about this dressing is that it uses a minimal number of simple ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, etc. It has no MSG, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors or colors added. I see this dressing as a great way to incorporate more fresh green leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, and other produce into my family’s diet. Perfect for a fresh lifestyle!

Make sure not to add the dressing to the salad until serving time, otherwise the spinach will wilt quickly. Add the dressing right before you’re ready to serve! Also, drizzle just enough dressing to coat the leaves–don’t pour all of it at once–let your taste buds be your guide and use just enough to coat the salad lightly! Enjoy!




Ingredients
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinach (about 10 cups of torn leaves)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
  • 1 Gala apple, sliced
  • 1 or 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 whole fresh mandarin oranges, peeled; or 1 can of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Marzetti® Simply Dressed® Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Instructions
  1. Chop 1/4 cup of pecan halves into smaller bites - set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients except for 1/4 cup of chopped pecan halves.
  3. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the salad. Serve immediately.