Browsing articles tagged with " spinach"

Roasted Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Roasted Strawberry and Spinach Salad
I’ve eaten this salad 3 times this week…so far. That’s right- 3 times I’ve devoured a great big bowl of spinach smothered in balsamic dressing and topped with flavor-bursting roasted strawberries and crunchy bits of toasted almonds. I just can’t get enough. This was the first (but definitely not the last) time I roasted strawberries. I’ve roasted other fruits in the past. Things like  pineapple, peaches, apples, and even lemons, but never strawberries. Let me just say right not that you HAVE to try this. As soon as the first bite hit my mouth I knew I was hooked and my mind began frantically plotting more ways to enjoy these soft and juicy amazing little fruits.
Roasting strawberries is simple. Well, roasting anything is pretty simple but strawberries are especially easy because they only need 10 minutes in the oven to achieve perfection. A drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sugar, a dash of salt and pepper and in the oven they go.
Ten minutes later and voilà! Roasted strawberries. Soft but not mushy, sweet but not sugary and perfect in combination with a big ol’ pile of tender baby spinach leaves. The best part about this salad? It only takes ten minutes to make! While the strawberries are roasting you whip up a simple vinaigrette, toast some almonds and wash a bunch of spinach. Spinach goes in bowl, strawberries and almonds go on top, vinaigrette is generously drizzled over everything…and then you eat. Could it be any easier? Roasted Strawberry and Spinach Salad

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Spinach, Pear & Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
This was supposed to be a post about stuffing. I had it all planned out. I would make a mouth watering Cornbread and Apple stuffing with Golden Raisins and the whole house would fill with the tantalizing smell of Thanksgiving. The preparations were made. A new sack of cornmeal was purchased and I found some lovely local Macintosh apples along with an extra-large bag of golden raisins at the health food store. I began to combine my scattered recipe notes into a single coherent recipe. I thought about the different photos that I could take for the recipe – yes, I really do plan this much for each post – I can’t help it… spontaneity is obviously not my thing.TAW02021
Sometimes though, all the planning in the world can fall apart in an instant. I was laying in bed browsing through the items in my Google Reader and I came across a post about Thanksgiving Salads from Instantly my interest was sparked. If there’s one downfall to the  traditional Thanksgiving meal it’s got to be the lack of green on the menu. Sure, we had dishes that we called salad on the Thanksgiving table when I was growing up. There was the molded Jell-O and canned fruit salad, the green bean salad with fried onions, and everyone’s favorite, the 24-hour salad with iceberg lettuce, bacon, and cheese – all smothered in a thick layer of mayo.TAW02085
This was a different idea though. An actual healthy green salad with a fall themed twist. A mix of greens, some seasonal fruit, a few nuts and creamy goat cheese. The final touch is a pomegranate infused vinaigrette that you will want to use on everything. Wow! I instantly knew that I had to make this salad. And just like that all my careful stuffing preparations were thrown out the window. Don’t get me wrong… I really like stuffing.  Believe me, I can’t wait until Thursday when I can fill myself with all that rich, bready goodness. But everyone makes stuffing for Thanksgiving, and many people have a special stuffing recipe that’s been in the family for years. You don’t need me to  bore you with yet another stuffing recipe. A Thanksgiving salad though. Now that’s a novel idea.TAW02048Of course, I ended up making a few adjustments to the original recipe. I used almonds instead of pistachios, sliced pears instead of cubed, and a mix of greens instead of just arugula and romaine. I also adjusted the vinaigrette recipe which called for pomegranate molasses. I couldn’t find this product anywhere locally (apparently it is sold at Middle Eastern stores) and when I looked up how to make it I discovered that you need 4 cups of pomegranate juice to make 1 cup of molasses (that’s one expensive molasses). Also, this is Thanksgiving and I bet you have better things to do then stand over the stove making an expensive molasses on the same day that you’re cooking a 15-pound bird, ten sides dishes and four desserts. So I substituted plain pomegranate juice and a bit of honey – perfect!TAW02036-1
Feel free to make changes of your own. Part of the beauty of this salad is how versatile it is. You could use walnuts instead of almonds, apples instead of pears, and any kind of greens your heart desires. You could toast the nuts, or sauté the pears with a little brown sugar and butter. The possibilities are endless.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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