Spinach, Orange, and Almond Salad

Total Time:
20 min
15 min
5 min

6 servings

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 oranges
  • 1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning salad
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 10 ounces baby spinach (6 cups), washed and dried
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Lightly grease a 10-inch square of aluminum foil with butter or vegetable oil and set aside.

Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until the sugar turns a golden amber color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the almonds and stir to coat. Continue cooking until the almonds are fragrant and golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to the prepared aluminum foil, using a spoon to spread into a thin layer, and set aside to cool completely.

With a thin, sharp knife, cut the peel and bitter white pith from the oranges, 1 at a time. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, cut in between the membranes to release the segments. Reserve the segments in a separate bowl. Combine 1/4 cup orange juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the Champagne vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Transfer the dressing to a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid until you are ready to serve.

Put the spinach in a large serving bowl, then top with the orange segments, celery, and red onions. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, break the caramelized almonds into bite-size pieces and scatter over the top of the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Toss to coat evenly and serve immediately.

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    31 Reviews
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    Fantastic! Orange vinagrette was awesome!
    I served this to a room full of soldiers last year and one of them left with the recipe. It was a huge hit.
    Great salad. Next time, I will probably make it with just toasted almonds.
    Different and delicious salad!
    This salad is a delight for the senses. First, it is beautiful. Second, it is good for you, and third it is delicious. I made this when I wanted a spinach salad but had vegetarians coming to dinner so bacon dressing was out. I omitted the celery (because it's the only vegetable I hate) and added pomegranate seeds instead. This made a gorgeous emerald, orange, purple, and red-studded salad. I also used 2 tablespoons of sugar instead of 3 in the dressing because I don't like super-sweet dressings. It was perfect. If you're hesitant to take the time to caramelize those almonds, don't worry about it - I think it would be just as good with some simple toasted sliced or slivered almonds which you can buy. Make this salad...you won't be disappointed. Thanks, Emeril.
    I've made this salad 3 times and it has always been a hit. It's great for the holidays.
    This is my second time making this salad. The first time I used balsamic vinegar because I didn't have the champagne or white wine vinegar. It came out just as good. The second time I used the white wine vinegar; excellent again. l also used walnuts because I didn't have the almonds the second time. It really doesn't matter what nuts you use. Even my husband liked this salad. Emeril you out did yourself. This is a keeper.
    Saved! I made this today for Christmas Dinner. It is a nice light salad. I did add crasins, which we all thought went well with the other ingredients. I didn't have any white wine vinegar so I used 3T white vinegar & 1T white wine. Not sure it made a difference, but it sure didn't hurt. We put the dressing on the side as my hubby does not eat dressing on his salad. He did put a little bit on his to begin with & then added more. :-) Tasty way to get your veggies.
    I made this salad with a few modifications based on what we had available. I omitted the onion and celery because various family members dislike them in salad. I omitted the hot pepper as well.

    Instead of almonds I used pecans since we have trees around here and have tons of them. I didn't have fresh oranges so I used mandarin oranges. I used lemon zest instead of orange zest.

    Everyone loved this salad, including the kids. I made it to go with a meal of venison, and it complimented the meat very well. Next time, I may add some bacon for a bit of saltiness as well. My favorite thing about this recipe is the excellent salad dressing.
    We thought this was great! We'll definitely make it again!
    This was a great salad and will use it over and over... very healthy. But to cut down on the sugar use.... you can use the herb stevia to sweeten the salad dressing.
    This is my new favorite salad. I absolutely love it!
    This is a great recipie.
    I made this for Thanksgiving. I got a lot of compliments and had to leave my copy of the recipe with my sister-in-law. Great contrast between the sweet almond crunch, orange vinaigrette and the fresh spinach. I'm making it again for Christmas dinner (different crowd).
    I made this for a work event and it was a huge hit. I made mine with half spinach and half romaine lettuce. Nice and light. I'll be making this one again!
    I made this salad for Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out REALLY good. I got a lot of compliments in it. It has a very refreshing taste. There is no way this whole salad could take only 15 min. It took my 10 min alone to do the almonds. It took me over an hour. I would suggest to cut down a tad on time to use prepackaged spinach. But once again.. it tasted great!
    This recipe was so easy and tasted great! Everyone who tried it, LOVED it. I made it into banana strawberry shortcakes. Just add sliced fresh strawberries and homemade whip cream with a sprig of mint for garnish. It's so good, and light.
    This was a truly wonderful salad. The dressing is sweet, yet doesn't overpower the salad. Will absolutely make this again.
    I too made this for Christmas and it was all gone. I added a "european salad" blend and crumbled feta. It was fabulous!
    I made this salad 3 times over the holiday season for 3 different events and everyone raved about it. It tastes wonderful and looks colorful.
    light and fresh and incredibly easy - a great accent to any dish or perfect for a light lunch all by itself.
    I tried this for the first time at Christmas and it was a hit. Everyone raved about it....it was absolutely deliscious. I'm not sure if I made the almonds correctly...I think I need to see the show. Overall this was one of the best if not the best salad I have ever had.
    Excellent recipe. The family loves it every time I make it!
    The nuts turned out really clumpy but the dressing and salad was really tasty. Even my husband liked it who is weird about eating fruit and vegetables together.
    We served this at a gourmet dinner last weekend and everyone really enjoyed it. The almonds resemble frosted flakes, so some of the guests were saying it was "GRREEAAATTT!!!" Overall, a very refreshing and simple salad that looks nice to serve to company.
    I substituted canned mandarin oranges & it was great!
    At first I wasn't sure I liked this but, as the ingredients absorbed all the flavors after an hour or so it got much better. I will make it again for friends and family
    We had a group for a dinner party with beef brisket and the spinach salad. It went over very well, being light and tasty.
    This salad is going to be a traditional one on my table.
    This salad was very nice and light. It was a great accompaniement to the rich Thanksgiving meal I made! Instead of the almonds, I made some candied pecans and sprinkled it on top -- it was fabulous!
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