Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fresh Spinach and Fruit Salad

When I first met my husband, Lou, there were many things he was not in the habit of eating. One of those things was salad. To him, salad was lettuce served with a dressing and maybe a few tomatoes or cucumbers, but the dressing dominated the flavor of the salad. I, on the other hand, was in the habit of eating salads with almost every meal. Luckily, I take a different approach on building one. I like salads made with a variety of ingredients that complement each other. More importantly, I like dressings that only complement the flavors of the ingredients instead of masking them. One salad that is especially great for the winter months when great tasting tomatoes are hard to come by is a spinach fruit salad. (We're big tomato lovers, so if they're in season and the farmer's market is selling them, we're probably eating them in a Greek, Caprice, or whatever salad may come to mind.) Today, we had no tomatoes, but did have some apples in the fruit bowl and grapes in the fridge. I like to balance fresh fruit with dried, so some craisins and dried figs were the perfect additions. A lot of people like to add red onions to a fruit filled salad, but I prefer green onions. Lou says green onions are my signature ingredient...give it a try and see what you think.

Fresh Spinach and Fruit Salad

about 1/2 of a 5 oz. bag of baby spinach leaves
a handful of craisins
4 dried figs, stemmed and sliced
about 10 grapes, halved (any color works, but purple are prettiest)
one small apple, cored and cubed
2 green onions, sliced
1 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Celery Seed Dressing:
2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar (can use white wine vinegar)
3 Tablespoons canola oil or mild olive oil such as Lodestar Olive Oil
1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste-may vary depending on the vinegar)
a pinch of salt
1/2 teapsoon celery seeds

Whisk to emulsify and add to the salad ingredients just before serving. Toss and enjoy!

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