Sometimes you just want a nice salad that is simple, yet full of delicious. And cranberries. It should probably be full of cranberries too. Maybe some blue cheese (or bleu, depending on your spelling preference). Because these things are delicious.
So here's what you need:
Baby spinach leaves
Blue cheese (I like a nice Trader Joe's variety)
Nuts (preferably pecans and hazelnuts)
Lemon (for the zest, not the juice)
First, toast your nuts. Throw them in a pan and heat them over a medium/high flame while constantly tossing them around in the pan so they don't burn. Do this for a few minutes until they brown a bit.
Then, make your dressing. Do this by combining equal parts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then use your lemon and the small holes of a cheese grater to make some lemon zest. If you're fancy enough to own an actual zester, that would work too. Throw some zest into your balsamic/olive oil mixture. The amount of zest is not too critical. I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of zest for a two person sized portion of dressing. Use your best judgement.
Finally, assemble your salad by adding crumbled blue cheese along with your toasted nuts and dried cranberries to a bowl of baby spinach. Drizzle with your homemade lemon balsamic vinaigrette. Then eat him up!