Spinach and Strawberry Salad

This is a scrumptious summer salad which uses two of the crops we’ve got growing in abundance at the moment: perpetual spinach and strawberries.

spinach&strawberryingreds

Perpetual spinach or spinach beet, is not really spinach at all, but it looks like spinach, tastes like spinach, is incredibly hardy and produces an all year round supply, so is far less hassle than true spinach which is more high maintenance and has a tendency to bolt. It is a wonderfully prolific cut-and-come-again crop with leaves that can be eaten raw or cooked.

By all means use true spinach in this recipe if that’s what you’ve got to hand, but if you have a vigorous crop of perpetual spinach growing in your garden or allotment along with your strawberries right now, this is a great way to combine them. The balsamic and honey dressing intensifies the sweetness of the strawberries, which are beautifully off-set by the salty bacon, and the toasted pine nuts add a hearty crunch.

Delicious!

SophieSignature

Spinach & Strawberry Salad

Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Serves: 1  Prep/Cooking Time: 15 mins

2 handfuls of (perpetual) spinach
1 handful of strawberries (hulled and halved, quartered if very large)
1 spring onion, chopped finely
1 rasher of bacon
1 tbsp. pine nuts

Dressing:

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. wholegrain mustard
Salt & Pepper

Method:

Mix together the ingredients for the dressing.

Dry fry the pine nuts in a pan for a couple of minutes, tossing them regularly. Remove from the pan.

In the same pan, fry the rasher of bacon for a few minutes, turning half-way. There’s no need to add any oil if you keep the heat moderate.

Remove bacon onto a plate lined with kitchen towel and allow to cool. Add any juices from the pan into your dressing and mix well.

Add the washed spinach leaves to a bowl along with the chopped spring onions, strawberries and pine nuts.

Chop the bacon rasher into small pieces and add to the bowl.

Drizzle over the dressing, mix well and serve.

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Pea shoot, Pumpkin and Pomegranate Salad

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a fabulous-looking salad using seasonal ingredients: some freshly harvested pea shoots from the seeds I planted back in January, the pumpkin we’ve been storing since last autumn, plus some zingy pomegranate seeds (alas, not home-grown – if anyone in the UK has managed to grow pomegranate fruit, I want to hear about it!)

I ate it for lunch with a jacket potato but it would make a beautiful accompaniment to fish, particularly mackerel.

Happy noshing 😉

SophieSignature     IMG_0576 PEA SHOOT, PUMPKIN & POMEGRANATE SALAD
Serves: 1 Prep Time: 10 mins Cooking Tim: 15 mins

Salad:

150 g of diced pumpkin
1/2 pomegranate
Handful of pea shoots
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Dressing:

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
Salt & pepper

Method

Toss the diced pumpkin in the olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 200C for 15-20 minutes (check it with a knife – the pumpkin is ready as soon as it softens).

Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients, then heating in the microwave for 20 seconds to thin the honey. Mix again.

Arrange the pea shoots on a plate before scattering the roasted pumpkin on top.

Squeeze the seeds out of the pomegranate half onto the salad (You probably won’t need to use the whole half of the fruit; I saved the excess seeds and the juice from my half and stirred them into my porridge the following morning).

Drizzle the dressing over the salad.

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