Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Spinach Salad with Mustard Cream Dressing

This salad is inspired by one I had at a restaurant in Port Colborne a few weeks back. I'm so used to spinach salads in restaurants being horribly anemic, with "baby" spinach leaves from California that have all the fine flavour and texture of damp tissue paper. This one had good sturdy little leaves, crinkly and dense but tender and delicious. "This is local spinach, isn't it?" I said to the proprietor, and she was delighted that I could tell. Not hard though!

The Niagara peninsula has a lot of greenhouse growers and it will be easier to find spinach there now than just about anywhere. Well, apart from our back yard where it has overwintered. But soon it should be more widely available.

My restaurant salad used a soft chevre as the cheese, and that would be fine. I used Capra Nero (yeah, I know: not actually named by an Italian); a firm goat cheese from Pine River. Fortunately they are better at making cheese than they are at conjugating gender, if that's the right phrase, and it was very good. They also used pine nuts, but I actually prefer sunflower seeds, and not just because they are a lot cheaper and at least potentially local. You can use sunflower seeds or pepitas that you buy unroasted; just toast them yourself in an unoiled skillet until lightly browned, then turn them at once onto a plate to cool. Or you can buy roasted and salted seeds and use those, but in that case take it easy when (if!) you add the salt.

Even at 2 servings this is more of a side salad than a meal salad. although if 2 people eat it as an introductory course, they will need less of a main course than 4 people would need.

2 to 4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Make the Dressing:
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons 10% cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients in the salad bowl.

Make the Salad:
4 to 6 cups packed baby spinach leaves
2 medium-small carrots
1/4 cup toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
100 grams (4 ounces) goat cheese

Wash and pick over the spinach, and drain and dry it well. Peel and trim the carrots, then use the vegetable peeler to cut them into thin curls. Toss the spinach, carrots, and half the seeds with the dressing, then serve it out into individual serving dishes. Sprinkle the salads with the remaining seeds and the cheese, cut or crumbled into bits.


Myles Falconer said...

looks great! Love your blog. It gives me great inspiration!
Myles, Tillsonburg ON

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, Myles!