Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spinach Strawberry Salad

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  • 6 oz (approx 6 cups) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 pint (approx. 16 medium-size) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered or sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons raspberry poppy seed dressing*
  • 1/2 cup candied pecan pieces**
In large bowl, toss spinach, strawberries, and cheese with dressing. Sprinkle candy pecan pieces on top just before serving (so they remain crisp).

Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing:


  • 1/2 cup raspberry vinegar (for recipe, go to; may substitute white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

--In a blender or food processor.add vinegar, sugar, mustard, & salt to the blender or food processor and mix until combined. With the blender/food processor running, add the oils in a thin stream through the hole in the top. Blend until well mixed. Add poppy seeds and pulse just until mixed.
--In a bowl. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, minced onion, and poppy seeds until well combined. Continue whisking while adding the oils in a thin stream. Keep whisking until well combined.
--In a jar. Add everything except the 2 oils to the jar. Cover and shake to combine. Add 2 oils and shake vigorously until well combined.

If too thick, may be thinned by whisking in water a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

--Toss dressing with your choice of salad greens. Use approx. 1 tablespoon of dressing per 2 cups of greens.

Candied Pecans

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional--to add some kick)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 cups (1 pound) raw pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, use electric mixer or whisk to beat the egg white until foamy (30-40 seconds with mixer). Add sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, salt, cayenne (if using), vanilla and water; mix until well combined (15-20 seconds with mixer). Stir in pecans until all are well coated with the mixture. Pour onto baking sheet and spread out nuts into a single layer. Bake for a total of 40 minutes; removing pan after 20 minutes, flipping nuts over with a spatula and rearranging pecans into a single layer before returning to oven for last 20 minutes. Remove from oven and slide parchment paper with nuts still on it onto cooling rack. Cool completely, break apart, and transfer to airtight container; store at room temperature.
Note: Nuts may loose their crispiness if they're left out uncovered for an extended period. If that happens, restore crispiness by warming them in oven again for 5-10 minutes.


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