Spinach raspberry salad with feta and honey-roasted walnuts

I have never utilized raspberries enough, I’ve decided. Blackberries are my favourite in pies. Blueberries are fantastic as a snack, easily knocked back by the handful. Strawberries, to me, are always the big glamourous berry, hogging the culinary spotlight in their sexy-in-an-obvious-kind-of-way. But I seem to severely under-utilize the raspberry. Enter: Costco deal on raspberries! I was excited to try this dish for several reasons, not the least of which was the opportunity to use a raspberry vinaigrette but also to try honey-roasting my own walnuts.

Recipe

adapted from Laylita’s Recipes

1 cup raspberries
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup honey roasted walnuts
2 tbsp red raspberry vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
5 oz spinach

Combine the spinach, red onion, raspberries, feta and walnuts in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil and raspberry vinegar together until well-blended. Toss the vinaigrette with the salad and serve.

Honey-roasted walnuts

1 cup walnuts
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix the walnuts and honey together until the nuts are completely coated. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, chili powder and salt. Toss the walnuts with the sugar mixture and place them on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning walnuts once during that time.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: For the salad vinaigrette, I found red wine vinegar with raspberry juice, so I assumed that to be acceptable. As for the walnuts, I didn’t realize that I was roasting them on wax paper instead of parchment, which likely contributed to their being rather difficult to get off the paper (much peeling and scraping).

All in all, I really quite enjoyed the salad. The vinaigrette was surprisingly tasty for being so simple. I loved the honey-roasted walnuts (even just on their own), as they added a nice sweet crunch paired against the juicy sweetness of the raspberries. The feta, being a staple cheese in our salads back in Chicago, was its usual tasty self and held up well against the other flavours. The original recipe actually called for gorgonzola, instead of feta, which would also make a nice, sharp addition.

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