Thursday, February 6, 2014

Strawberry, Spinach & Almond Salad with a Poppy Seed Dressing

And you thought you were getting rid of me that easy?  Muahahahaha, surprise!  I'll (Tara) still be manning things over here in Nalls' Kitchen, because really, how can I pull myself away?  So gird your loins for continued random musings of Crop Share cooking adventures.  And guest posts are still welcome, encouraged and greatly enjoyed!  You'll still be able to send recipes and guest posts to or send them to and Valerie will forward them my way.

Now...let's get cookin'!

So yesterday, the Mister and I discovered something glorious...Winesday.  We'd heard about Whole Foods wine tastings, but never seriously looked into it until this week.  When I learned that $5 per person got you 5 wines to taste (they say it works out to about a glass and a half by the end - but there were some generous pour-ers last night!), food pairings at each station, and a glass to keep.  Plus, if you bring your glass back, you get a $1 off future Winesdays.  Drinking in the grocery on the cheap, and at a place like Whole Paycheck nonetheless?  To that I say...Namaste!  Side note: If you've yet to read, Surviving Whole Foods, it's a must, especially if you've also taken your life into your own hands in the parking garage at the one in Old Town.  

So what was the very first food pairing we encountered?  A spinach salad with strawberries!  And what are we getting this week in the Crop Share?  STRAWBERRIES!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  So skip the Whole Paycheck prices and whip up this delectable salad, complete with your own homemade poppy seed dressing.  Toss in some chicken, shrimp or tofu to make it a meal.  And of course, if anyone wants to come drink with me in the grocery, you will henceforth be able to find me celebrating Winesdays at the Whole Foods in Old Town between 5-7 PM.  Completely for recipe research of course!

Strawberry, Spinach & Almond Salad

For salad:
1/2 lb fresh spinach
1/2 pint strawberries, halved
2 Tbsp slivered almonds, toasted and unsalted (to toast your own, brown in a skillet over medium heat, the natural oils in the almonds will be sufficient)

For Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sweet onion, minced
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce (for gluten-free stick with original Lea & Perinns as it's safe, huzzah!)
1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

In a blender, add your first 5 dressing ingredients and blend for about 30 seconds until smooth.  Then with the blender running, slowly pour in oil in a steady stream to make an emulsion.  Once fully blended, stir in poppy seeds and set aside.  You can either serve it at room temp or if you're wanting a warm dressing, put it in a microwave safe container and nuke it for 30 seconds to maybe at most a minute.  You want it warm, not hot.

For salad, use our handy dandy tips for no gritty spinach, and then trim stems.  Toss with strawberries and toasted almonds, and then right before serving gently toss with the Poppy Seed Dressing.

Yields 2 servings.

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