Spinach Salad with White Beans, Red Pepper and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ready for another new salad? The data’s pretty clear that mixing up what you put in that salad bowl is what will help you keep eating salads! Here’s a simple combination of ingredients starring fresh spinach with a great homemade dressing (that will store in the fridge  for a week or longer so you can reap the rewards of your labor for days and days)! Croutons optional (but boy are they good). ‘Nuff said.

Spinach Salad with White Beans, Red Pepper and Balsamic Vinaigrette

adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

serves 4



5 oz. baby spinach

1 cup canned white beans, rinsed

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, medium diced


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons minced shallot

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


4 cups 1/2-inch bread cubes (baguette, wheat, or rye)

vegetable or olive oil spray

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese



1. Prepare croutons by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Spray the bread cubes with cooking spray and toss with salt and Parmesan cheese. Spread the bread cubes out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring halfway, until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool before serving.

2. Combine salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

3. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

4. Drizzle 1/4 cup of dressing over salad ingredients and toss well. Add one cup of Parmesan Croutons and serve.



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