I don’t know about you, but I am so happy to have a long weekend to just relax. A little cooking, a lot of sleeping and even some reading sounds like a perfect way to spend the tranquil days.
Then, once rejuvenated, it’s time to have some fun with family and friends. BBQ, picnics, lots of laughter and music and hanging out on the deck sound just about ideal to me. Monday’s celebration includes that previously mentioned BBQ. For this gathering, I have been charged with making a salad. Doesn’t sound too exciting, but I have lots of ideas.
Since it is the 4th of July, I need to amp it up a bit. So, I created a sweet and spicy Red, White and Blue Spinach Salad. I like to play with textures, flavors and spice even when including just a handful of ingredients. Consider the spiciness of the radishes, juiciness of the blueberries and creaminess of the fresh mozzarella paired with the firmness of the baby spinach and sweetness of the dressing, plus the crunch of the walnuts, All bases covered!
This salad is totally adaptable for the fruits of your choice including how you make the dressing (blackberries or raspberries instead of blueberries). But, this is a really good combination as is, trust me! It goes with any main course from hamburgers to fish to chicken. It’s a good option for vegetarians as well.
To show you how easy it is to make the dressing, you don’t even need a bowl! Everything goes right into your blender. I use my Vitamix which blends everything in 30 seconds. If you are not familiar with this brand or have hesitated in buying it due to its cost, it is so worth it! I make so many recipes in here from my morning protein shake to soups to ice cream to fresh peanut butter to hummus to margaritas and the list continues. The strength of the motor (2.2 horsepower) and the fact that they offer a 7 year warranty is just the icing on the cake. But, I digress, back to the recipe for the salad.
The warmth of summer encourages lighter meals, fresher fruits and vegetables and outdoor dining. Next time you are looking for a healthy, flavorful and colorful salad, I hope you try this Sweet and Spicy Spinach Salad.
Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July!
- ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- ¼ cup Agave syrup or honey
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 ounces baby spinach
- ½ - 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 4 - 5 radishes, sliced thin
- ½ shallot, diced
- ¼ cup walnuts, toasted, small pieces
- Dressing: Put all ingredients into Vitamix or blender. Blender until mixed through. If using frozen blueberries, dressing will be thicker.
- Walnuts: In a small, dry stainless fry pan, warm the walnuts till you begin to smell the oils coming through. About 2-3 minutes.
- Start with spinach and layer salad with ingredients. If using for the July 4th holiday, the red, white and blue ingredients can be strategically placed to celebrate of the occasion.