in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Friday, January 11, 2013

Apple Spinach Salad w/ Orange Ginger Dressing snowed. Lots and lots. I still love the soups and stews that feel particularly right this time of year however, a bit of verdant glory on a dinner plate can brighten your outlook. This salad was inspired by 4 year old Stella. She told me what to cook for her birthday dinner and apple salad with orange dressing was part of her instructions. She didn't end up eating any salad but it got good reviews from the over 4 crowd. (Stella liked the cake and ice cream best.)
Apple Spinach Salad
4 cups baby spinach and arugula, or other greens
1 medium red bell pepper
1 large stalk celery
2 small (or one large) Granny Smith apples
2 to 3 ounces feta cheese
Orange Ginger Dressing:
1 small orange
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root, (or more to taste)
1/3 cup grape seed or almond oil
Place the greens in a large bowl. Cut the red pepper into about 1/4 inch dice. Add to the bowl. Slice the celery into thin slices on the diagonal and add to the bowl. Make the dressing by zesting the orange into a mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice on top of the zest. Add the vinegar, salt, soy sauce and ginger. Whisk in the oil and then set aside. When ready to serve, shred the unpeeled apples with the largest size holes on your grater, making sure to stop before you reach the seeds. Add shredded apple to the salad. Crumble the feta on top. Whisk the dressing again and immediately pour over the salad, toss well and transfer to a serving bowl.

I buy the pre-washed bag of baby spinach and arugula mix that is at my local grocery store. All arugula tends to be too strong and all spinach too mild. But choose what you like most. Toasted or candied walnuts would be a great addition to this mix. This dressing is a good on many other salad combos, it is a simpler version of this one from a previous post. The apple shreds tend to mess up the tossing bowl, that is why I recommend a fresh serving bowl. I try to be sure to discard any of the seeds and trim down the inner ribs when I prepare the bell peppers. 

A hint of citrus, a bit of green, a slight crunch and we are coaxed back to our good spirits in a healthy, wholesome way. We are so fortunate to be able to procure nice produce this time of year. Eating local is great but every so often taking advantage of modern life is great as well.

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