This week while searching for a recipe to sample for customers, I came across an intriguing sounding one, once again sourced from Yummly. If you haven’t checked out this website yet you really should – you can set up a profile where you can list foods you are allergic/intolerant of, foods you just don’t like, and whether you are following a specific diet (vegan, etc.). Once you have your profile set up, you can search for recipes using filters that will only show ones that fit the bill. You can also search the recipes according to taste (salty, sweet, savory, etc.), cuisine, preparation time, and course, as well as enter ingredients (one at a time) that you already have and it will find recipes to fit those parameters. You can also post photos of the dishes you make (I submitted a photo of the pesto I made last week and you can now find it on their website). It really is the best recipe website I have run across.
I found a recipe for Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad, and knew I had to try it. We currently have local bulk baby spinach (the same as I used for the Spinach Pesto last week), and some beautiful California strawberries (we won’t see local strawberries for a couple of weeks as least – check out the article in this month’s Co-op Community News). The recipe originally came from Allrecipes and had gotten really great reviews.
This is a really festive salad that would be great for summer potlucks (and the recipe is large enough to serve a small crowd) – the bright green of the spinach mixed with the vibrant red of the strawberries makes your mouth water, and everyone will be pleasantly surprised at the complexity of its flavor.
The daiquiri inspiration comes not from alcohol, but from the honey-lime dressing and toasted unsweetened coconut flakes (although if you were going to an adults-only potluck, a shot of tequila or rum might be a fun addition to the dressing!). The salad also includes some lightly candied almonds to add a little crunch and to compliment the sweetness of the strawberries. While the combinations may sound a little strange, everyone who tried it loved it, and someone even said it was the best salad ever!
As for execution, it was pretty simple to make, although more involved than tossing together a green salad. You have to candy the sliced almonds, which takes about 10 minutes (watch that you don’t heat the sugar too fast or it will form hard little sugar nuggets that will break someone’s tooth!) and you have to toast the coconut flakes (unless you have access to toasted flaked coconut, but it is a really simple process nonetheless). A little slicing and dicing, and you have the perfect summer celebration salad!
Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad
- 1/4 c lime juice
- 1/4 c honey (use agave syrup if you are vegan)
- 1/4 t poppy seeds
- 1/4 t Dijon mustard
- 1/4 c canola oil
- 1 c sliced almonds
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 c sugar
- ~ 10 oz baby spinach, washed and dried
- 1 # strawberries, sliced
- 1 c flaked coconut, toasted
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- Combine the almonds, salt and sugar in a large skillet. Stir constantly (especially once sugar starts to melt) over medium heat until the almonds are light golden brown and sugar has melted, about 10 minutes. Remove nuts from the skillet to cool.
- Wipe out the skillet. Toast the coconut flakes over medium-low heat until lightly toasted. Remove coconut from skillet to cool.
- Combine the lime juice, honey (or agave), poppy seeds, and mustard in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil and set aside.
- Toss the spinach, strawberries, coconut, onions, and cooled almonds in a large bowl.
- Top with prepared dressing, and toss to coat.
You can also make the salad ahead of time: toss spinach, strawberries and onions in a large bowl and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve, add the coconut, almonds and dressing and toss.