Spinach Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Feta and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Bright green spinach, fresh raspberries, toasted walnuts and feta are tossed with a raspberry vinaigrette for a mouthful of contrasting flavors and textures.

Some people with fructose malabsorption have problems with vinegar, so I tweaked the recipe so that you can substitute any vinegar. Use sugar-free raspberry syrup, found in the coffee aisle at the grocery store, to flavor the vinaigrette. Sometimes espresso bars sell it along with whole coffee beans for people who make their own drinks at home. If you prefer to use raspberry vinegar, swap it for the red wine vinegar, add a  teaspoon sugar, and omit the raspberry syrup.

The nutrition panel on feta states that it has 0 grams of carbohydrate, which means it’s safe to eat if you’re lactose intolerant. According to “Food Intolerance Management Plan”, by Sue Shepherd, most people with lactose intolerance can handle about 4 grams of lactose per serving of food without experiencing problems (page 29). As always, only eat what your body can tolerate, and only you know what that is.

Read the nutrition facts if you’re substituting another cheese: if it says 0 grams of carbohydrate, then it doesn’t contain lactose and is safe to eat. Cheeses that you can substitute for feta include ricotta salata, Cotija, Manouri, Haloumi or Myzithra.

Spinach Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Feta and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6, Adapted from “Fine Cooking”

1 1/2 tablespoons (22 ml) red wine vinegar, or other vinegar or lemon juice
2 teaspoons (10 ml) sugar-free raspberry syrup
1 teaspoon (5 ml) Dijon mustard, or other mustard as tolerated
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) Kosher salt
Dash of black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons (22 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons (22 ml) walnut oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml) chopped chives
5 cups (5 ounces or 142 grams) spinach or mixed greens as tolerated
1 cup (75 grams) fresh raspberries
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) or 80 ml (43 grams) crumbled feta, ricotta salata or Cotija
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) or 120 ml (60 grams) chopped, toasted walnuts

Toast the walnuts and set aside. In a jar with a tightly fitting lid, add the vinegar, mustard, raspberry syrup, salt, and pepper. Briskly stir until combined. Add the olive oil and walnut oil, then cover the jar with the lid and tighten securely. Shake the jar vigorously, until the contents are emulsified.

Put the spinach in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette on top. Toss the spinach until the leaves are evenly coated. Add the raspberries, cheese and walnuts. Gently toss and serve.

8 thoughts on “Spinach Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Feta and Raspberry Vinaigrette

  1. This is so beautiful … and pretty – this I will put on file – I would have had slightly bigger crumbles of the beautiful cheese – it’s still a stunning and delicate photo. Will come back with review when I done it.

    • Thanks- I would love to get a review after you try it. I agree about the cheese crumbles. I was in such a hurry to take the photo that I didn’t see how small they were, and when I looked at the photo later I was kicking myself for not noticing.

      • It’s so hard to do shots on food … been working with food stylists and professional photographer – most of good looking food fake and it’s raw – they color food with tea to make it look cooked.
        Still your photo is very good and clear, only that the cheese don’t show. Now you know next time.
        I will do this salad next time I crave for salad, only thing that raspberries are getting very expensive now .. season is gone, but I will still try it.

      • The reality behind the pretty photos is such a contrast to what it looks like. It figures the food isn’t even cooked half the time. Raspberries are pretty much always out of season here in Alaska, so I only splurge on them once in a while. I hope you enjoy the salad!

    • I’m always surprised by how many things you can make with spinach and feta, which explains why I also have it in my fridge on a regular basis.

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