Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spinach Salad

It has been a long cold winter in the US and we are all more than ready for spring to arrive. Longer days filled with sunshine, fresh produce and flowers!

Last Saturday I spent the afternoon touring Poplar Ridge Farms in Sandy Ridge Township, NC, located near Charlotte and Waxhaw, NC.

Poplar Ridge is family owned certified USDA organic farm and CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, which is a farm membership program.

It was a beautiful day and Marianne Battistone, one of the owners, conducted the tour. As we toured the farm Marianne and her team explained the process to grow organic foods.

A lot of hard work and effort contributes to producing organic produce, resulting in healthy, great tasting produce that is well worth all the effort.

I feel very fortunate to have access to organic produce, Check out their website poplarridgefarmnc.com for information about the CSA and also check out farmers in your area, buy local and eat fresh whenever possible!

Jake, thanks for the invite, I enjoyed taking the tour with you and Gail!  Cheers!

On Saturday I purchased fresh spinach and eggs.

I hard boiled a couple of eggs, cleaned the spinach, toasted walnuts and tossed together a spinach salad.

Easy Spinach Salad

• 1 lb of Fresh Spinach, rinsed and torn into bite size pieces
• ¼ red onion, sliced
• 2 Hard boiled eggs diced
• ¼ cup of diced walnuts, toasted
• Olive Oil vinaigrette
– 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
– 1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

• Optional:
– 4 slices of cooked bacon crumbled
– 1 cup of dried cranberries

• Variations, add one of the following:
– 1 lb cooked and cleaned Shrimp
– 1 cups of cooked Chicken, diced

• Rinse spinach, pat dry with paper towel and tear into bite size pieces
• In a bowl whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and Parmesan cheese.
– Sometimes I add a dash of sugar or honey for a hint of sweetness
• In a medium skillet toast the walnuts, about 3 or 4 minutes
• In a large serving bowl toss the spinach, red onion with dressing
• Divide on plates and bowls
• Top with diced hard boiled eggs, walnuts and Parmesan cheese, lightly toss.

Serves 6 as a starter/side salad or

4 main course salads

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