If I could only eat one thing, for the rest of my life . . . It just might have to be this salad.  I’m serious now!

Take a look  . . . it’s a dandy.


It’s actually named Spinach Salad, but you can toss in a different variety of greens as well.  I have used Spinach, Romaine and Baby Leaf in this salad today.

This is the perfect salad for company, or any get-to-gether.  In our family, we serve this at all the holiday parties!

Vision this:  A bed of crisp greens, a layer of shredded mozzarella or Swiss Cheese, tiny bits of red onion (opt), crisp bacon bits, caramelized almonds, mandarin oranges and topped with a delicious Poppy Seed dressing.

You can fry your own bacon, or if you are in a hurry, simply buy real bacon pieces.  In fact, it’s super easy to caramelize your almonds, but if you are in a pinch for time, honey roasted nuts, cashews, peanuts, or sunflower seeds are also just as delicious.

Toss 1/2 cups of slivered Almonds and 3 Tablespoons sugar over low heat until light brown.  Easy!

OH . . . sugary, Caramelized Toasted Almonds!

 The recipe actually calls for sliced mushrooms, which I leave out, but you might like to add these as well.  It’s the perfect main dish salad at Bridal or Baby showers, along side homemade rolls, and other desserts.

The POPPYSEED DRESSING is a cinch to make.  You’ll never buy it in the store again!

Trust me . . . it just doesn’t get any better than this!


1 head lettuce

1 bunch spinach

3/4 lb. sliced mushrooms

3/4 lb. grated Swiss or Mozzarella Cheese

1 red onion

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup mandarin oranges, drained

1/2 cup slivered almonds

3 Tbsp. sugar


3/4 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1/3 Cup White vinegar

3/4 cup oil (Crisco, canola or olive oil)

1/3 cup  sugar

1 Tbsp. grated onion (opt)

3/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. prepared mustard

*I add onion rings to the dressing… so that it flavors it, then I remove the rings.  Some picky people don’t like onion!


Cook sugar and almonds over low heat until light brown.  Mix first 5 ingredients; sprinkle almonds, bacon, and oranges over the top.  Serve with Poppy seed dressing. 

**You can make this salad the day before, but I always add the oranges at the last minute.  If you keep your greens rolled up in paper towels, they will stay crispy for days.

  • Valerie M. - 03/29/2010 - 1:48 pm

    I LOVE salads and spinach is my favorite. I copied yet another of your delish recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny L. - 03/29/2010 - 4:05 pm

    Jonna, This looks fabulous! I’ve marked it and can’t wait to try it!!!ReplyCancel

  • Talia - 03/29/2010 - 4:54 pm

    What is the difference between “white sugar” and “sugar”?ReplyCancel

  • Jonna - 03/29/2010 - 5:09 pm

    Talia, I’m sorry I confused you!
    I have corrected my mistake.
    Thanks for bring this to my attention.

  • Maraie Tsutsui - 03/29/2010 - 9:24 pm

    My mouth is watering!!!ReplyCancel

  • ingrid - 03/30/2010 - 10:50 am

    Yum, this looks amazing! The almonds and dressing are going to be quickly made. Thanks, Jonna!

  • Corteiga Lund - 04/03/2010 - 4:46 pm

    I love your blog and I’m sad to hear you’re going private. Thanks for all the great recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Marci - 05/05/2010 - 12:09 pm

    I love your favorite salad as well. I have a similar recipe. I just wanted to tell you one more ingredient that makes it divine—crasins! Just thought I would let you know if you want to give them a try. I also could eat this salad every day!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Ball - 12/31/2015 - 9:23 am

    Making this tonight for New Year’s Eve. I love this salad too.ReplyCancel

  • Di Ritter - 11/20/2016 - 8:06 pm

    Do you serve with dressing on the side or pour over salad?ReplyCancel