{Recipe} J.L. Hudson’s Spinach Salad – My Absolute FAVORITE!

I grew up shopping at J.L. Hudson’s – my very favorite store in the world. I loved everything about it, especially their restaurant, Lakeshore Grill. Almost thirty years after I moved to South Carolina, when I would stop in the restaurant, so many of the waitress were there when I was in HIGH SCHOOL. It’s so wonderful to walk in and see people that you remember as a kid! This salad was my very favorite. It’s beyond simple, but the taste will have you coming back for more (and more and more!) – there are so many reasons to up your green intake – and this salad makes that easy to accomplish!

I ran across a few different versions of this recipe – and ultimately went with the version minus soy sauce (I don’t remember soy sauce being in the recipe AND I can’t eat soy, so a simple decision for me). I changed a few things which ultimately didn’t change the flavor much at all. 

Onion juice. I tried to find it at several locations and no one had it. So I grated an onion on the finest side of the grater, then I pushed it through a sieve with a spatula. What came out was about 1 tablespoon of onion juice. One half of the recipe (for just the two of us) called for 1.5 tablespoons of onion juice – 1 tablespoon was pretty strong… My sister doesn’t like onions, so I tried this recipe for her minus onion juice, and I have to say, I preferred it!

Note: if just for a few people, you can easily half this recipe, or like me, just make the dressing and put together the salad each day!

HUDSON’S SPINACH SALAD – my version… (about 8 servings)


Baby spinach (I like organic, and the smaller the leaves the better)**

Mandarin Oranges in a can (I use Trader Joe’s – from Spain)

Slivered or sliced almonds (I like toasted!)

Sesame seeds (I used un-toasted because I remember theirs being lighter in color)


3-4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil (or a neutral oil like organic canola oil)

Making the salad takes only a minutes, so mix together ingredients for the salad first.


In small bowl that you can whisk in, mix together:

  • sugar (to taste)
  • dry mustard
  • white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon juice or syrup from mandarin oranges OR 1-2 tablespoon onion juice (original recipe)

Then WHISK in (slowly, until well blended):

  • olive oil (or other oil)


  • In bowl, add spinach, top mandarin oranges (I cut them in half)
  • Sprinkle almonds and sesame seeds on top
  • Use a tablespoon or two of dressing (mix again if it separated)


If you have leftover dressing, put it in a small container in the refrigerator. Take it out about 20 minutes before you eat so that the oil can melt. Give it a shake and top your salad.

If you just want a small side salad, just make it small. If it’s a meal make it larger. So quick to put together and such a delight!

This salad brings back such good memories. Meeting my mom for dinner after work, or our family heading there on the weekend for a little shopping and “stopping for a bite”. Those of you who remember Hudson’s and know Detroit will be familiar with the Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puff that we would often order and share. So many good memories!

**I buy a large container of baby spinach at Costco – (Earthbound Farms) – Once opened, I place a few paper towels and flip it upside down. This helps draw moisture away from the leaves. I’ve done this for years with lettuce, etc. – and just saw that it’s a big thing on Tik Tok. I think it’s common sense. Another thing that I try (with lettuce), is to wrap in paper towels and then into a zip top bag (get it out of the clam shell it comes in) – and it’ll last much longer! I simply had too much spinach to put in bags.

👩‍💻 Until next time…


2 thoughts on “{Recipe} J.L. Hudson’s Spinach Salad – My Absolute FAVORITE!

Make my day and leave a (public) comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

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