Spinach Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette and Pistachios

This salad is all about the dressing.  I had some raspberries in the fridge and decided to use them to make a dressing.  I pureed the raspberries in my mini food processor, then added red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Simple, but delicious and the perfect dressing for spinach.  Because the dressing has fresh pureed fruit, it is thicker than a normal vinaigrette, and a little goes a long way, so don’t “over dress.”  Also, be sure to store any leftovers in the refrigerator and use within a few days.

And about those croutons…

If you have some stale or dry leftover bread, make your own!  I had half a loaf of homemade honey wheat bread that was past its good life, so I cubed it, placed it on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and spritzed the cubes with olive oil, then sprinkled with salt, pepper and garlic powder and toasted in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  They turned out great!  In fact, while I was waiting for my husband to get home, I munched on them by dipping them in the raspberry vinaigrette!

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Make your own croutons!  It’s easy and a great way to use leftover bread.

Spinach Salad with fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette and Pistachios

6 oz fresh raspberries,  10 set aside for the salad, the rest to be used for the dressing
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
4 to 5 oz fresh baby spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
croutons
feta cheese, crumbled

Set aside some raspberries for the salad, and place the rest in a mini food processor.  Pulse until pureed.  Add the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper, and blend well.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Place the torn spinach leaves in a large bowl, and lightly drizzle with a few tablespoons of the dressing (do not use all of it – just enough to lightly coat the leaves). add the chopped pistachios, croutons, and crumbled feta cheese.  Serve immediately, with additional dressing on the side if desired.

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