Spinach Salad with Jamaica Vinaigrette and Caramelized Pecans

Spinach Salad with Jamaica Vinaigrette and Caramelized Pecans

Ensalada de Espinaca con Vinagreta de Jamaica y Nueces Garapiñadas

Recipe Yield

8 to 10 servings

Cooking time

2 hours 15 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.75 from 4 votes


For the salad:

  • 18 oz fresh spinach leaves rinsed, drained and thickly sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress rinsed and stems removed
  • 6-8 scallions white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Jamaica Vinaigrette (see below)
  • 1 cup caramelized pecans roughly chopped or whole pieces, to your liking

For the Jamaica Vinaigrette:

  • 3/4 cup dried jamaica flowers
  • 1 cup safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

To Prepare

  • Place the jamiaca flowers in a bowl along with the garlic, oils, vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper. Let them sit for a few minutes, for the flowers to soften up a bit. Then pour everything into a blender and puree. The flowers will not be pureed until smooth. The mix will have a textured consistency with chewy flower chunks: that’s what you want!
  • Let the mix stand for at least two hours. If it will not be used then, it can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week.
  • Place the spinach and watercress in a large bowl. Pour some of the vinaigrette on top and toss. Top with the chopped caramelized pecans and sprinkle the scallions over the top. Drizzle some more vinaigrette on top. If you have leftover vinaigrette, you can eat it with a spoon!


14comments inSpinach Salad with Jamaica Vinaigrette and Caramelized Pecans

  1. Courtney Brown

    Apr 16

    This is my favorite salad and dressing ever! I have been making it since getting the honor and privilege of meeting Pati several years ago at a cooking class at the University of Kentucky. This has become my family’s favorite ever since! It is our tradition to have it every Easter. It is such a beautiful and delicious salad with amazing flavor combinations. I was not familiar with Jamaica flowers before meeting Pati, and now I love making tea with them too. So many health benefits! Thank you for introducing me to this amazing plant and sharing this extraordinary recipe with me! I could literally eat this dressing with a spoon!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 19

      Yay, thanks Courtney for your awesome review, un abrazo grande!

  2. Martha Munguia

    Jan 10

    Wow!!! Just what I needed, this will go perfectly with dinner! Thank goodness I have everything here!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 12

      Enjoy the salad, Martha.

  3. Anonymous

    Jan 10

    I love this salad! I make it pretty often. The pecans are so delicious. I made the mango, tomatillo one from your week of salads last night and had the leftovers today for lunch. So good! It brought sunshine to a gloomy, winter day.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 12

      I’m so glad you are enjoying Salad Week!

  4. Lisa Alderson

    Jan 09

    Where can one get Jamaica flowers?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 10

      You can find them online or even your local market in the international food aisle. Or if you have a Latin or International market nearby, give them a try, Lisa.

  5. Jasmine

    Mar 09

    Hey Pati! So excited to finally try this recipe! The vinaigrette asks for 3 garlic cloves. Do you top the finished salad with the other two?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 29

      Oh thank you for catching that, Jasmine! They all go in the vinaigrette.

  6. Vannesa

    Nov 19

    Is it supposed to be 2 tablespoons of salt? That seems like A LOT

    1. Pati

      Nov 19

      The super tart hibiscus flower vinaigrette begs for it, try it!

      1. Vannesa

        Nov 20

        Your right! It’s amazing! One more thing, watercress is out of season. Any substitution suggestions or just leave it out?

        1. Pati

          Nov 20

          I’m so glad you liked it! You can also use baby spinach, arugula, baby greens​, or any lettuce you like as a substitute. Baby spinach would be closest to watercress though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.