Why Spinach? Oh, Let Me Count the Ways!

What do you think when you hear the words “spinach salad”?

Wait, wait. Don’t tune out.

This spinach salad is bursting with flavor and is the perfect recipe to fill you with a sense of renewal and freshness.

Forget about bland and dreary salads that make meal time fee like a chore rather than a treat.

My spinach salad is here to change all that.

Say goodbye to boring salads.


Spinach Salad is Filled With Flavor with a Fennel Dressing

Say hello to flavor.

Starting with the Fennel Seed Dressing.

Fennel isn’t a common ingredient for a lot of Americans. If you haven’t become acquainted yet, please do.

It’s a versatile ingredient you may recognize in Italian sausage and is one of the five seeds used to create the whole-seed seasoning blend panch phoran widely used in East India, Bangladesh, and Nepal cuisine.

Fennel seed is a little wonder.

It delivers a unique licorice-like flavor that pairs beautifully with the spinach and the white balsamic vinegar that provides the acid for the dressing.

With a bit of honey, Dijon mustard, and a bit of garlic paste this dressing is mouthwateringly good.

And it’s good for your digestion and it delivers a whole host of other benefits to your body as well.

Everygood salad dressing is a balance between the flavorings, the acid, and the olive oil.

White balsamic vinegar provides the acidic backbone to this dressing, but with subtleness.

Its counterpart is the darker balsamic vinegar.

Both are made from white grape must, but the white vinegar is cooked at a lower temperature to prevent it from darkening and it’s aged for a shorter time.

White balsamic vinegar has a clean, light, and has less of the strong punch that dark balsamic delivers.

I love it.

Again, another ingredient some may not be as familiar with. But please do make it’s acquaintance.

You are going to love this salad dressing.


Making This Spinach Salad A Stand Out

If the dressing alone doesn’t convince you to try this salad, go with this.

To the spinach you’re going to throw in some chickpeas, julienned red onion, parmesan, and dill.

Spinach and dill make a fabulous flavor combination.

And to top it all off, garnish this salad with 3 pan-steamed asparagus spears.

It’s a beauty.

And so incredibly satisfying.

Make it this week.

Here’s another simple, yet delicious vinaigrette for you to try:

Classic Red Wine Vinaigrette

Looking for another way to enjoy spinach? Here you go:

Sautéed  Spinach

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Spinach Salad with Fennel Seed Dressing

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This salad and salad dressing scream spring (no matter what time of year it is!). Don’t ever believe that salads are boring. The fennel salad dressing is almost addicting.
  • Author: Chef Sandra Lewis
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Units Scale


  • 12 asparagus spears, cleaned and trimmed
  • 4 cups packed spinach leaves, de-stemmed
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained well
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup red onion, julienne sliced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt

Fennel Salad Dressing



  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Toss or stir the seeds to ensure the seeds toast evenly and don’t burn. Once toasted remove them from the heat and let them cool.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic paste, honey, and pinch of salt.
  3. Whisk the olive oil into the vinegar in a steam stream until combined.
  4. Stir in the fennel seeds.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with kosher salt.

Pan-Steam the Asparagus

  1. Lay the asparagus spears in a skillet in a single layer.
  2. Add just enough water to the pan for it to boil and create steam for 2-3 minutes. Don’t cover the vegetables with water; there should be some dry spots in the skillet.
  3. Turn the skillet on and steam the asparagus for 2-3 minutes, just until tender.
  4. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Assemble the Salad

  1. Toss the spinach with 3-4  tablespoons of the fennel salad dressing.
  2. For each salad, add 1 cup of the dressed spinach to a plate. Top each salad with 2 tablespoons chickpeas, 2 tablespoons parmesan, and divide the red onion equally between each salad.
  3. Layer 3 spears of the pan-steamed asparagus on top of the salad and garnish with the dill and red pepper flakes.


This is the perfect size for a side salad. Increase the portions to serve this salad as an entrèe.


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