This is one of those delicious accidents. I was running my girls to all of their various activities and needed to make something quick and simple for dinner. Even though the chicken takes an hour you don’t need to do anything to it. So I will often throw the chicken in the oven, start the rice and then go drop the girls off wherever they need to be and by the time I get back home, dinner is ready. (Roast chicken is one of my go to super easy no-work dinners. In the quick version I literally just take two whole chickens and rub them with olive oil and kosher salt and cook them in a 400 degree oven for an hour. I have my Classic Roast Chicken as well that has more to it and garlic inside, etc. but I make this super simple version frequently.) Then Nishiki rice in the rice cooker is anothe staple in our family.
Only this time I didn’t have a vegetable and didn’t have time to run to the store. This is when the old saying “necessity is the mother of invention” rings true. I looked in my fridge: I had apples for Katherine’s lunch and celery for Katherine’s lunch. I also had a five ounce container of baby spinach. So I threw that all together and went to make some kind of dressing. I couldn’t find any apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar at the time but saw Apple Juice in the fridge. Apple juice turned out to be the perfect ingredient. This dressing only has four ingredients in it and is fabulous! So fabulous we’ve now repeated it 6 times and have tried other variations and the one with the apple juice is the best! And usually I’m a vinegar nut, but somehow the tang in my favorite Plochman’s mustard is enough.
It was a wonderful side dish with the roast chicken and rice.
Spinach, Celery and Apple Salad with Apple Mustard Dressing
1 package of fresh baby spinach (approx 5 ounces)
4-5 stalks of celery, chopped
2 fuji apples, chopped. (Braeburn or other crisp apple will work too)
Apple Mustard Dressing
1/3 cup mayonaise
2 tablespoon Plochman’s Mustard
1/3 cup apple Juice
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
Combine first three ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add freshly ground pepper.
Maili’s Notes: For those that don’t care for mayonnaise you could probably whisk in olive oil in place of the mayonnaise and make a vinaigrette out of it. You’ll just need to add some salt since mayonnaise already has salt in it.