I scream, you scream, we all scream for … spinach salad?!

Perhaps I was Popeye's mistress in a past life.

The last few potlucks I've brought spinach salad – to rave reviews.

I've no idea why. I don't use a recipe and every time it's a little different, created from what's on hand and my intuitive mood.

I begin with Costco's baby spinach. Nothing else. The leaves are beautiful, washed, clean, crisp, bouncy, vibrant with life. None of those droopy, wilting, overpressed, slightly darkening or decaying leaves that sometimes happen from other vendors. Costco's baby spinach rocks and p.s. keeps impressively well stored in its plastic tub.

Reminder: There's no recipe so quantities are eyeballed. My approach is not to overload and overwhelm the leaves with add-ins but rather enhance their beauty.

I add crispy crumbled bacon – the real stuff, no baco-bits:

hardboiled sliced eggs:

chopped pecans; nice if you lightly roast to draw out the nuttiness but not essential; if you do toast, be sure to toss any burned ones, they're bitter and will jar the flavor palette:

chopped green onions – use in entirety! I cut with scissors.

If not the green onions, then some chopped red:

Once I added sliced cucumbers, about half of one, not too many, for visual variety, crunch and decoration:

Another potluck I sprinkled in leftover chicken, no skin or seasoning, and that worked nicely:

You might spot an absence of tomatoes, which are often paired with spinach. I don't much care for tomatoes and in that rare craving reach for Romas or intense cherry tomatoes; for this salad I'd use the cherries.

Now the dressing. I don't drown salads, I prefer a light coating for flavor and only subtle mouth feel. Not a fan of the oil-and-vinegar dressings but do feel they better complement and enhance the spinach than creamies. Yesterday's dressing was from this batch (makes 1 cup):

3/4 cup salad oil
1/4 lemon juice
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. sugar
dash pepper
dash paprika
I clove minced garlic – I may've added more. 😉

Then another potluck there was the Asian dressing featuring sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Knocked my socks off. I stood in the kitchen dipping the spoon into the jar over and over saying wow! (and it got only better sitting in the fridge.)

And that's it. It's a spinach salad in motion – like the ocean. A salad with mojo – like that carried by some men and women who call the sea their home. It's my (Swimmingly Good) Sailor's Spinach Salad.

Popeye'd be pleased. {blows kiss} See you in another lifetime, hun.

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