Best Salad of the Week

I’m a pretty good cook. Love cooking winter meals — braised and slow cooked meat, big roasts, warming soups and stews and ragú.

But we’re on the cusp of Spring and we all need something a bit lighter. Meal salads are back.

Best this week? Baby kale with some baby spinach, walnuts, diced apple, blueberries, roasted chick peas and some grilled chicken all tossed with a spinach vinaigrette. Yes, a spinach vinaigrette, from a recipe I found years ago and just rediscovered. With grilled chicken and roasted chick peas on hand from the day before, this meal came together in just about ten minutes. Delicious and filling. Oh, and it’s healthy too.

Many many variations are out there….just look inside your refrigerator and cabinets and be creative. Have greens and dressing on hand, a protein in mind, check out your fruit and nut stash and get out your favorite salad serving piece…mine is a bright yellow Fiesta bowl. It takes so little time to put together, leaving lots of time to sit and relax and enjoy.

Spinach Vinaigrette

IMG_2459

1 cup tightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat parsley leaves. (You can use curly if that’s all you have in the house.)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground fresh pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 cups olive oil

I put the spinach leaves, parsley, vinegar, basil, salt, pepper, cumin and garlic in the food processor and processed it all until it was smooth. With the machine running, I slowly added 1/2 cup of the olive oil through the feeding tube. Then, the remaining oil all at once and processed it until it was all smooth again. That’s it!

The original recipe said it could be stored in a tight-fitting container in the refrigerator for about three weeks, but it’s always used well before then! (Let it sit on the counter for about a half hour before you want to use it.) Try it on grilled fish or chicken too!

 

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