Spring Eating: 7 Variations on a Spinach Salad

We find that spinach salad can be a polarizing dish. There are people who love them and those who only want their spinach sautéed or sandwiched between an English muffin and a poached egg. We tend to be in the latter camp, but several recent articles about the sweet, tender spring spinach showing up in farmers' markets is making us reconsider. Now really is the perfect time to eat some raw spinach...

First there was an article in New York magazine about spinach from the Union Square greenmarket, and the recipe was a delicious departure from the traditional bacon-and-hard-boiled-egg topping that usually comes on spinach salads.

Gourmet also has an article on its home page right now about eating spring spinach. And given the temperamental moods of the weather lately, we think spinach salad is a nice transition from cool weather into spring. It's fresh but hearty, and many of these recipes include some sort of cooked or caramelized element.

Why not try a spinach salad...

The traditional way, with a warm bacon dressing, from Alton Brown.

With a garlicky dressing, pine nuts, and raisins, from Melissa Clark, via the Kitchn.

With a vermouth vinaigrette, from White on Rice Couple.

Mixed with diced potatoes and topped with a fried egg, from Everyday Food.

With mushrooms and cipollini onions, from New York.

Covered in a warm feta dressing (above), from Bon Appétit.

Paired with wilted red cabbage, from Gourmet.

How do you like your spinach salad?

Related: Cultural Differences: Salad Before or After Dinner?

(Image: Tina Rupp for Bon Appétit)