With all the spring sunshine, rain, and mild weather, our garden is really taking off. Heads are forming on the broccoli, the lettuce is filling out, and I’ve thinned the beets and spinach.
Thinning the beets meant I had a few tiny ones to add to a roasted vegetable salad, but thinning the spinach left me with a giant mound.
Thinning is important to give plants the room to mature. It also allows a better flow of air and cuts back on slug problems.
I’m thankful I have a few go-to recipes for spinach salad that my family loves, and I thought I’d share them with you. The first is from my mother-in-law and really couldn’t be simpler–no measuring just use what you want.
MeeMee’s Spinach Salad with Apples and Almonds
toasted almonds or pumpkin seeds
cooked bacon chopped or torn into small pieces
1 part orange juice concentrate mixed with 2 parts mayonnaise
Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing. Allow to sit for about a half hour or so until spinach begins to wilt. Serve and enjoy.
This salad is easy, simple, tasty, and we never have leftovers. And now let’s take a look at its pretty sister.
The other salad is from a cookbook we received as a wedding present “Savor the Flavor of Oregon”. I love the sweetness of the strawberries combined with the hearty greens. It requires making your own dressing. I’m sure you could substitute a poppy seed dressing from the store, but this one really makes the salad.
Berry Summer Salad
2 bunches fresh spinach, washed, dried, and torn
2 pints fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and halved
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Place spinach and strawberries in a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add dressing before serving and toss gently.
The salad with plump red berries glistening amongst a bed of green is as pretty as it is tasty. You know you’ve come across a winning recipe when you’re at the grocery store, your kid picks up a box of strawberries, and asks “Ooo, can we have that spinach salad?”
I’ve put together a whole notebook of recipes for those days when the bumper crops come in. I’m hoping I’ll get to use a few more this year.
And now, Baby Girl’s been waiting all week for that spinach salad. It’ll definitely make the meal.
Do you have those bumper crop go-to recipes? Any spinach recipes you’d like to share?
(By the by, I was checking online to see if I’m messing with copyrights when I added the Taste of Oregon recipe to my post. Apparently, recipes are meant to be shared, so they’re not protected by copyright, but if they’d written about luscious, jewel-toned, ruby-red berries and fresh from the earth spinach mixed tenderly in a diamond-cut, crystal server then I couldn’t share it. Recipes are OK; flowery descriptions–not so much. My conscience is clear.)