I hate to use such an "over-used" term, but this salad really is "to die for". I do make a few changes, but it's basically the same. I use Romaine lettuce, omit the onions, use honey roasted pecans or honey roasted cashews and sub blue cheese for the feta. If you sub blue cheese I would recommend that since it's such a strong cheese that you reduce the cheese to one-half cup. I buy a balsamic vinaigrette from O'Charley's restaurant (where I first had this wonderful salad), but I'm sure any balsamic vinaigrette would be fine. It really is an "explosion" of different tastes and has become our new favorite salad.
I loved this salad and it was as stated just beautiful to look at. I made as directed using Basic Vinaigrette for the dressing. Worked out just great. A salad I'll made often. Thanks. Made for PAC Fall 2012
grannydragon, this is a near-exact copy of my original recipe, including the NAME, which I posted in 2005 on allrecipes. Please give proper credit! Here is my original description and recipe>>> SUBMITTED BY: WENDYINTEXAS Supporting Member "A spur-of-the-moment creation when I wanted something with a great flavor punch and lots of color, plus quick to prepare---this one fills the bill, with baby spinach and colorful cranberries and mandarin oranges, plus the crunch of sweetened almonds and the pungent feta cheese---a new favorite at our house! You may substitute blue cheese for the feta and any kind of sweetened pecans or walnuts, if desired, for the almonds." Beautiful Salad INGREDIENTS (Nutrition) * 8 cups baby spinach leaves * 1/2 medium red onion, sliced and separated into rings * 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained * 1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries * 1 cup honey-roasted sliced almonds * 1 cup crumbled feta cheese * 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, or to taste DIRECTIONS 1. Place servings of spinach onto salad plates. Top with red onion, mandarin oranges, cranberries, sliced almonds and feta cheese in that order. Drizzle dressing over each salad.