Texture is as important as flavor. In my salads, I always add at least one ingredient that has a bit of crunch to create some textural contrast. Here, too, I like to span the globe and think beyond toasted nuts and croutons. Crispy pappadams (Indian flatbreads), fried wonton wrappers, and even fried Asian noodles are all great crunchy additions that help give a global flair and a little sophistication to my spinach salads.
Start with fresh, clean, dry spinach. At the market you can usually choose among large bundled spinach, bulk young spinach, or washed and bagged (or boxed) baby spinach. I prefer bundled young spinach because it tends to be more tender and have a cleaner flavor than the large, tough leaves—and it’s not as dirty. Bagged spinach is convenient and works fine, but it can be hard to assess how fresh it is, so it generally doesn’t last as long, unless you luck out on a really fresh batch. No matter what kind of spinach you buy, make sure you wash it carefully to remove all the dirt (I give even bagged spinach a rinse) and dry it thoroughly, since oil-based dressings don’t cling well to wet leaves.