Sunday, May 02, 2010

Spinach and Strawberrys

Since it's strawberry season AND we are growing lettuce and spinach in our garden I thought I'd post a recipe but before I do a quick word on how to harvest your lettuce/spinach.

To harvest lettuce and spinach pick the leaves from the outside. As lettuce/spinach grows the new leaves come up from the middle pushing the older bigger leaves to the outside. Make sure to wash the lettuce then let it sit in water for 5 minutes-that kills any lurking bugs that like to hang out on the lettuce. A row of lettuce picked correctly usaully lasts me about 2-3 weeks of eating. Make sure to NOT cut the lettuce/spinach back to the ground, doing that cuts the new leaves making it longer before you get more leaves. To have lettuce all summer long try planting new rows every 2-3 weeks. As the summer gets hotter you'll need to plant lettuce under another plant to keep it cooler. I just planted some new rows under my tomato plants so they will give my lettuce/spinach shade.

Spinach & Strawberry Salad
1 lb spinach, washed, trimmed, torn into bite size pieces
2¼ C fresh strawberries, stemmed & sliced
⅔ C sliced pecans
2 T unsalted butter

For the salad melt butter in a small skillet and sauté pecans until lightly browned and toasted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl combine spinach and strawberries.

2 T lightly toasted sesame seeds
1 T poppy seeds
½ C sugar
2 t minced red onion
¼ t paprika
¼ C cider vinegar
¼ C white vinegar
½ C vegetable oil

For the dressing, toast the sesame seeds by shaking them over medium heat in a dry skillet until lightly browned. In a “dressing” jar combine the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, vinegars, and oil. Shake well.

To serve, place 1½ C of spinach-strawberry salad on each plate and sprinkle with a T of pecans. Spoon the dressing over top and serve immediately.

Yield: 10 Servings
Nutritional Information
Calories: 210 Total Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 109mg Total Carbs: 36g Protein: 5g

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