Spinach, Almond and Orange Salad
1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Cup Almonds, sliced
4 Each Oranges
1/4 Cup Orange Juice, reserved from segmenting oranges*
1/4 Cup Champagne or White Wine Vinegar
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tspn Orange Zest
1/4 Tspn Salt, plus more for seasoning salad
1/8 Tspn Cayenne Pepper
10 Oz (11 Cups) Baby Spinach, washed and dried
1 Cup Celery, thinly sliced
1/2 Cup Red Onions, thinly sliced
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Combine 3 tablespoons of the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until the sugar turns a golden amber color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the almonds and stir to mix. Continue to cook until the almonds are fragrant and golden-brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to the prepared aluminum foil, using a spoon to spread into a thin layer, and set aside to cool completely.
In a large serving bowl, place the spinach leaves on the bottom of the bowl, then top with the orange segments, celery, and red onions. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, break the caramelized almonds into small, bite-size pieces and scatter over the top of the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss to coat evenly and serve immediately.
With a thin, sharp knife, cut away the peel and pith of the oranges one at a time. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, slice along the membranes of the orange to release the segments. Reserve the segments in a separate bowl. Combine ¼ cup of the orange juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, the champagne vinegar, vegetable oil, olive oil, the orange zest, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and the cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Transfer the dressing to a plastic container with a tight fitting lid until you are ready to serve.