Goat cheese spinach "impress-your-friends" salad.

This one of those “where did you get that recipe?” kind of salads. You know when you take it somewhere and everyone thinks you’re Juila Child or Betty Crocker or Huge Hefner, which of course I get a lot (the younger Huge). I think you will love the way this tastes and the way your reputation skyrockets because of it. But you don’t have to take my word for it, I got this recipe with a few changes from www.epicurious.com

Ingredients:
2 cups washed Spinach
4-5 Large Strawberries, sliced
Handful Seasoned walnuts or pecans ( or plain if you want)
Goat Cheese (I put about two Tbsps on each serving)

Walnut seasoning:
1/4 cup water
1/8 or 1/4 cup sugar (I use 1/8 because I don’t like them so sweet)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/8 tsp ground pepper

Dressing:
1 clove garlic (chopped up)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp. virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp basil, or oregano or both (dried is fine but fresh is way better)

At first glance this may seem like a difficult recipe but do not be dissuaded. It is quite simple and will simply impress anyone for whom you make it.

untitled-7949  First, wash your Spinach (you can use other greens if you like) dry it and put it in a salad bowl. Add sliced strawberries and begin work on the walnuts.untitled-7950In a small sauce pan, place the walnuts and then ingredients of the seasoning. Simmer over medium heat until most of the water has evaporated. If you don’t have all of those spices it’s OK. I just used cinnamon, salt and pepper the first time I made and it turned out fine. Hence the optional on the nutmeg and cloves.

Set the walnuts aside to cool. While the nuts are cooling it’s time to make the dressing. (Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)

The dressing is simple. In a glass of some sort, mix all the ingredients. Chop your herbs if you are using the fresh variety and mix it all together. Once you’re done, those nuts ought to be good and cooled off by now. If they’re still too hot for you, just give those nuts a little blow.

Mix the nuts and the dressing with the spinach and strawberries and viola! Perfect salad. For the finishing touch, sever them in bowls and place some goat cheese on the top.untitled-7951If you’re looking for something to seal the deal of a relationship, this just might be your dish. I have heard that it works on both sexes equally well.

Enjoy!

Labels: Salad, goat cheese, strawberries

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