Spinach Salad with Mandarin Poppy Seed Dressing

Total Time
Prep 25 mins
Cook 0 mins

If you've never tasted toasted pine nuts before, then this recipe will make you a fan! (They can easily be found in any bulk food store). This is the recipe that also started my love affair with balsamic vinegar, all the different flavors blend marvelously well in this awesome salad!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place pine nuts in a small frying pan and toast on medium heat until golden, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  2. Cool and set aside.
  3. Core apple and cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
  4. Coat in lemon juice as you cut it up to prevent browning.
  5. Set aside.
  6. To prepare dressing: In large bowl, whisk together orange juice, balsamic vinegar, oil, honey, poppy seeds, mustard, salt and pepper.
  7. Add spinach and toss to coat well.
  8. Arrange spinach in individual salad bowls and top with apple chunks, drained mandarin orange segments, and toasted pine nuts.
Most Helpful

The best salad I have made in a long time....loved the dressing, this will be a family favorite for the summer....

CIndytc May 16, 2011

This is excellent. The combination of flavors went so well with each other. I made just a few changes to suit what I had on hand. I left out the granny smith apples and used toasted walnuts instead of the pine nuts (personal preference) and I misread the dressing directions and used 2 tablespoons of honey instead of tsp. but I liked it that way and will do that again in the future. Thanks for sharing.

~Nimz~ May 10, 2011

I'm mainly reviewing the dressing, as I used it over a different type of salad. I absolutely loved the dressing! It's different from your "normal" poppy seed dressing in that it's dark due to the balsamic vinegar, but that, plus the orange juice, gives it a lovely twist. I used it on my salad (arugula, beets, craisins, goat cheese and sweet onion), as well as on a wrap the next day, and as a dip/drizzle for cold grilled chicken tenderloins for lunch. Extremely versatile. Thanks!

Coprtopd February 10, 2009