Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad

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 Photo © Sassy Sampler 2011

Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad

INGREDIENTS

Dressing:

  • 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

Candied Almonds:

  • 1 c sliced almonds
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 c sugar

Salad:

  • ~ 10 oz baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 # strawberries, sliced
  • 1 c flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. 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.
  2. Wipe out the skillet.  Toast the coconut flakes over medium-low heat until lightly toasted.  Remove coconut from skillet to cool.
  3. Combine the lime juice, honey (or agave), poppy seeds, and mustard in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in the oil and set aside.
  4. Toss the spinach, strawberries, coconut, onions, and cooled almonds in a large bowl.
  5. 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.

Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad PDF


May Meal of the Month – Punjab Spinach Sauce with Tofu and Rice

A new month means a new Meal of the Month recipe from the Co-op’s Member Affairs Committee – this month it was submitted by Jean Rogers, with advice from local chef Robert Fong.

This was a very easy dish to prepare, as it is a “semi-homemade” recipe – you use one of the Ethnic Gourmet brand sauces*, but you add flair to it.  It only takes about fifteen minutes to toss together, and you are good to go.  Well…it does take an hour to cook the rice, but that is easy to wash up and toss in a pot!  If you are opposed to jarred sauces, or just want to try it from scratch, check out this recipe for Saag Spinach Sauce – you could then prepare the rest of the dish as instructed.  I haven’t tried this recipe myself, but it has very similar ingredients to the jarred variety.

Customers thought the dish was very tasty and my samples were gone before I knew it.  Note to self – make a much larger batch next time!

*11/2014 – We no longer sell Ethnic Gourmet Sauces, so use Jyoti Delhi Saag sauce as a replacement. It is made with spinach and mustard greens and adds a nice kick.

Enjoy!

Sassy Sampler ©2010

Sassy Sampler ©2010

Punjab Spinach Sauce with Tofu and Rice

Recipe courtesy Jean Rogers

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 c short grain brown rice
  • 4-6 T safflower or canola oil
  • 1 block tofu
  • 3 med garlic cloves, freshly sliced
  • 1 jar Ethnic Gourmet Punjab Saag Spinach Sauce (2014 – 1 can Jyoti Delhi Saag Sauce)
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 –1/3 # bulk spinach (or approx 1/2 bunch spinach)
  • 1-2 large pinches of sea salt
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t curry powder
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into four slices

Optional:

  • 1/2—1 t chili powder or red chili flakes
  • Fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse and drain rice.  Combine rice and 3 c water (salt is optional) in a pot with a tight-fitting lid.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 60 minutes (until all the water is absorbed).  Turn off heat, fluff rice, and let it sit covered until you are ready to serve.
  2. Wait about 1/2 an hour, and then rinse spinach and break up larger leaves.  Cut tofu into 1/4” cubes and let it drain on a paper towel for several minutes.
  3. Put 1-2 T oil into a hot, medium-sized heavy-duty skillet.  Add the sliced garlic and a pinch of sea salt and cook for about 15 seconds.
  4. Stir in and lightly wilt spinach (about 30 seconds).  Add 2-3 T water.
  5. Remove spinach.  You can either reserve it in a bowl or  you can spread to desired shape on a warm plate.
  6. Remove water from skillet and add 3 T oil at medium heat.
  7. Stir in 1 t hot chili powder or red chili flakes (optional), 1/2 t cumin, 1/2 t curry.
  8. Stir in tofu and mix with spices for about a minute.
  9. Stir in full jar of Punjab/Delhi (or homemade) sauce and 1-4 T water.  Lightly simmer for a minute.
  10. Turn off heat, and let sauce sit for 1 minute.  Stir spinach back into sauce, or ladle sauce and tofu on top of cooked spinach.
  11. Serve with rice on the side or in a ring and a slice of lemon (highly recommended!).  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro (optional).  For stronger flavor, increase salt and all spices.

Delhi Saag Sauce with Tofu and Rice PDF