Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spinach and Citrus Salad w/ Ginger-Sesame Dressing

Carotenoids, Fiber, Lutein, Lycopene, Omega-3's, Potassium, Vitamin C, Gingerol, and Isoflavones.  I bet those were the first things that popped into your head when you saw the photo of this salad, weren't they?  Yes.  I thought the same thing.

NOT.

It was all about the deep, gorgeous colors when this was on the table.  But the same things that make this salad such a looker are exactly those things I mentioned above.  The jewel-tones of segmented grapefruit in two colors, blood orange, and apricots adorn the tender green leaves of baby spinach.  Candied nuts gleaming with a thin shell of sugar are tucked amongst these bright bursts of color.  And the musky, seductive scent of sesame oil and ginger complete the experience.

If you don't do it for the looks...you've got to make this for the awesome health benefits and fantastic flavors!

Spinach and Citrus Salad w/ Ginger Sesame Dressing


by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: salad vegan citrus spinach ginger blood orange


Ingredients (serves 8-12)
    Salad

    • 10-12 oz. baby spinach
    • 2 ruby red grapefruit, segmented
    • 2 white grapefruit, segmented
    • 4 blood oranges, segmented
    • 4 oz. candied walnuts (see below)
    • 4 oz. candied hazelnuts (see below)
    • 4 oz. dried apricots, julienned
    • Ginger Sesame Dressing (see below)
    Quick Candied Nuts

    • ½ c. sugar
    • 1½ c. nuts (any type...I used equal parts walnuts and hazelnuts here)
    • coarse salt
    Ginger Sesame Dressing

    • ¼ c. grated ginger root
    • ¼ c. soy sauce
    • ¼ c. rice vinegar
    • ¼ c. sesame oil
    • freshly ground black pepper
    Instructions
    Salad

    Place spinach in a large serving bowl. Toss with as much dressing as you'd like (start with about half of the recipe and adjust as needed).

    Add grapefruit and blood orange segments, apricots, and candied nuts. Toss again gently. Serve and enjoy!

    Quick Candied Nuts (yield: 1½ c.)

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Slide into oven and bake for ~5 minutes or until golden and lightly toasted. Set aside to cool a bit.

    Place sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring with a wooden spoon once the sugar starts melting. Stir until sugar has completely melted and medium-amber in color. Quickly add the nuts to the pan and stir quickly to coat each one.

    Turn out onto a silpat or sheet of parchment and working quickly, use a couple of forks to separate the nuts. Sprinkle with a good smattering of salt and allow to cool completely.

    Ginger Sesame-Dressing (yield: ~1 c.)

    Combine all of the ingredients (black pepper to taste) in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake it up!

    You could easily half this recipe as you probably won't use it all here...but it's so good that you might like having the extra around.

    Salad & dressing adapted from FoodTrients. Nuts slightly adapted from Simply Recipes.
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