Spinach, Apple & Gouda Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Chopped Spinach Salad with Smoked Gouda

I’m not suggesting that if you were to make and devour a batch of the peanut butter caramel cookie bars you’d need to do something wild and crazy like eat only salad for a week. But. I won’t stop you either, especially when there are salads like this to carry you through.

It’s so good, you won’t even remember you put yourself into a salad timeout for excessive peanut butter caramel consumption.

Chopped Spinach Salad with Smoked Gouda

In a million years I never would have thrown these salad ingredients together, but this, like many others, falls into that category of: don’t knock it til you try it.

The chopped spinach, smoky gouda, toasted almonds + bell peppers + crisp apples (hello, crunch) drizzled with the tangy, sweet dressing makes for one seriously yummy salad. Plus, the colors. So pretty, don’t you think?

I realized a couple of years ago, after observing a friend who makes the best salads in all the land, that any dinner, even the simplest of simple dinners (yes, I’m talking to you hot dogs), can be elevated by a killer salad.

A really beautiful, delicious, more-than-just-bagged-lettuce salad can make you look like a rock star with hardly any extra work.

This lovely chopped spinach number is no exception and the 5-second (ok, 10-second) homemade honey mustard dressing is worth making it alone.

Chopped Spinach Salad with Smoked Gouda

One Year Ago: Vanilla Funfetti Mug Cake {Egg and Dairy Free}
Two Years Ago: Berries on a Cloud {Best Dessert of the Summer!}
Three Years Ago: Honeydew, Blueberry and Mango Salad with Lime-Ginger Reduction

Chopped Spinach and Smoked Gouda Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

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Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 10 tablespoons honey
  • 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar

Salad:

  • 6 ounces baby or regular spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet, crisp apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot or red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, cubed
  • 1/3 cup chopped lightly salted almonds, toasted

Directions:

  1. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve (or up to a week or so).
  2. For the salad, toss all the salad ingredients together. Add the dressing, to taste, and toss to combine or serve individual servings with the dressing alongside.

Notes:

Smoked gouda has a very strong, distinctive, delicious flavor – if you aren’t a fan, try subbing in another soft cheese like regular gouda, havarti, or monterey jack.

All images and text ยฉ.

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Recipe Source: from a recipe sent to me by a reader, Emily B. who got it from a friend (Rebe M.) originally from the BYU Museum of Art Cafe (I omitted the celery and made my own simple honey mustard dressing adapted from this recipe on Food Network)