Okay all you leaf eaters…It’s Salad time! Who loves a good salad? (I do, I do, I do!) I like to create or find salad recipes that are different or unusual. It’s the perfect time of year for light cool refreshing salads! This is one of those salads! I got this recipe from my SIL long ago, and it is still one of my all time favorite salad recipes! It truly has a “twist” that will make you go “huh?”…”really?”…”She wants me to add WHAT!”
How do I know this is how you will react? Because it is how I reacted and it is exactly how my daughter reacted when she saw me add it to this salad. I think her exact words were… “What the heck are ya doing adding that?!!” She was extremely skeptical but, in the end..the salad won! (I’d like to think it was my exceptional cooking skills that won but…it was the salad!)
One unusual aspect of this salad is that you marinate red onion slices and mushrooms in the poppy seed vinaigrette dressing. I know…strange right? But, it is SO good! This salad contains all the original favorites…lettuce, fresh spinach leaves, bacon crumbles and even grated Swiss cheese. Yum! (Bacon and Cheese! Hello!) The real twist, beyond the marinated mushrooms and onions, is that it also contains 1 cup of cottage cheese! SAY WHAT? (I did warn you!) And it’s great in the salad! (Mind blown)
All the ingredients blend together to make it one of the very best spinach salads you will ever taste! It’s a flavor explosion in your mouth! You wouldn’t think so, but it’s true. It’s unique! The dressing isn’t overpowering, but the perfect blend of tart and sweet. The Swiss Cheese adds a strong robust flavor that only Swiss cheese can bring to a dish. The bits of cottage cheese create a creaminess to each and every bite. Then, there’s the wonderful blend of smokey bacon, marinated mushrooms and red onion that balance it all out!
This salad pairs well with just about any main dish but, particularly with grilled dishes. It’s a show stopper and I guarantee your guests will be asking for seconds. You may even find someone licking the bowl…just sayin’…
I usually only make half of the recipe because it is a large recipe and this is one dish that doesn’t save well because of “pre-dressing” the salad. I would also recommend using a slotted spoon to scoop out the mushrooms and onion and then slowly adding the dressing a little bit at a time till you have the amount you want. This makes a LOT of dressing and it is too much for the salad. So, add and test..add and test…till you have the perfect amount! (It’s also a legit way to taste test and get away with it! lol)
So, there you have it my leafy eaters. The best spinach salad! (In my humble opinion) It really is worth the time and extra effort to make this salad. It’s a meal all alone or a great side dish to serve with grilled steaks grilled chicken, fish, etc. Heck…really with just about anything!
You’re gonna want to print this one out…it’s right below! Just remember it makes a LOT of salad so you might want to consider cutting it in half like I do. Remember…don’t be scared to throw that cottage cheese in there…trust me. You do trust me don’t you? (don’t answer that!)
I’d love to know what’s your favorite salad recipe? Please share in the comments below. I’m always looking for new ideas and yummy salad recipes! Have a great day…thanks for stopping by!