Today, I wore short-shorts for the first time in my life. (Spinach Salad with Balsamic Onion Dressing)

It’s true. I have never worn short-shorts before in my life. When I was a kid, I made sure my shorts came down to my middle fingers, if my arms were hanging by my side. Any shorter was far too risque. Skirts had to be to the knees (mostly because mine were knobby,) and my mini skirt hit (gasp) was two inches above my knee cap. I remember that mini skirt. It was dark blue corduroy and I wore it almost daily on our four month  trailer trip around the US, which is a story for another time. 
Then I got older, and I didn’t really care how long my shorts were, but I didn’t like them. It was hard to find longer shorts that fit, I wasn’t jazzed about the beyond immodest Daisy Dukes options and shorts were quickly relegated to sports activities, which meant I wore them only 6 times a week instead of daily. 
So? I adored skirts. Skirts were fun and feminine and were much easier to fit. I didn’t have to worry about weird pulling between the legs or hips that were too big or waists that were too small. They were easy to dress up or down and they didn’t stop me from doing anything. I went hiking, mowed the lawn, clean manure, chased my horses and climbed trees in skirts. This had the added benefit of shocking everyone around me. 
Then I loved sundresses. I have nothing to say about this, because I still love sundresses. My friends can attest.
But then I was in H&M a few weeks ago, and nothing in the women’s or teens’ section fit. It was all too big, too baggy and completely unworkable. Disappointed, I wandered over to the children’s section and, lo and behold, they were selling short shorts for $6.97, and, lo and behold, the ones intended for 12 year old Swedish girls fit me. (Are 12 year old Swedish girls really that big?)
Today, it was 77 degrees out and my legs screamed to see the sun – as much of it as possible, so I put on my brand new, 12 year old girl short-shorts.

UPDATE: I have since been told these are not actually short-shorts, because they are not short enough to be short-shorts. Even, my mother has told me they are not short-shorts. But to me, they are short-shorts. 

My conclusion? If it’s short-shorts weather, it is also salad weather. 
Notes: This is a very flexible salad. Use whatever dried fruit you want, or use a fresh fruit instead. Choose your own nuts or use cheese crisps or sunflower seeds or puffed peas. Or you could skip the base of this salad entirely, and make whatever salad you want and dump the dressing on top of it. It will not be this salad, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be fantastic. 
Spinach Salad with Balsamic Onion Dressing
My mother made this up because she is amazing. I stole it without her permission, so I should probably email her the link to this post. 
 Makes enough for 8 as a side dish. Allow at least 25 minutes.
1/2 onion, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 oz spinach, washed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1) Using two tablespoons of the olive oil, sauté the diced onions over medium to medium high* heat until caramelized.
2) While the onions are caramelizing, wash the spinach and put in serving bowl. Dump the cranberries, feta and almonds on top of the spinach but do not toss.**
3) When the onions are caramelized, turn the heat down slightly and add the balsamic vinegar to the onion mixture. Allow to simmer until the onions are well coated in the balsamic and it has just barely thickened. 
4) Add the rest of the olive oil to the onions and toss or whisk to form a vinaigrette studded with onions. Add more olive oil or balsamic as you see fit. 
5) While the dressing is still warm, pour over the salad and toss quickly. Serve immediately. 
*Use enough heat to make this go a little bit quickly, but not enough to brown or crisp the onion bits. 
** You can also serve this as beautiful, individual side salads. In that case, separate the spinach onto 6-8 salad plates and sprinkle the cranberries, feta and almonds over the top of the spinach. Do not toss. When the salad dressing is done (step 4), divide it evenly among the plates. 
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One Response to Today, I wore short-shorts for the first time in my life. (Spinach Salad with Balsamic Onion Dressing)

  1. Joanne says:

    I'm pretty sure I haven't worn shorts in at least eight years…but I'm also pretty sure that I did have a pair of short shorts in my life back in middle school. It was preposterous.I've definitely bought clothes in H+M's kids section before…I love that they're cheaper! And if it's shorts weather, it is DEFINITELY salad weather. And, well…it's always balsamic onion weather. Sounds delicious!

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