For dinner (the inaugural new apartment dinner partay) we had beef stew with mustard and mushrooms,rosemary drop biscuits and spinach salad. But not just any spinach salad.
I have gotten a bit out of the habit of making fancy salads, what with living with relatives who are, in the kindest of terms, pedestrian in their eating habits. A salad that has both leafy greens and fruit would overwhelm their palates. But this is easy and I can make it quick while things are resting on the stove.
What you need:
A bag of spinach
Large can of mandarin oranges
Half a small red onion, diced
Dried cranberries or cherries
For the dressing:
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
salt & pepper
Mix salad makings in large bowl.
In a small glass or measuring cup mix equal parts oil and vinegar)It might not actually be equal parts. I just glug shit in till it feels right, so ymmv). Add a tablespoon or so of mustard, the garlic and salt and pepper. Whisk till the dressing is emulsified. Poor over salad and toss.
That's it. But it will make your guests ask for seconds on the salad, no matter that the beef stew you made literally melts in their mouths. When I've made this at Thanksgiving, Ruth has been known to stand next to the bowl eating it with her fingers until the turkey is cool enough to eat with her fingers. People will become self-conscious that they are asking for seconds on salad. It is ok for you to make them grovel at this point.