Monday, October 10, 2011

Spinach Poppyseed Salad

Originally a strawberry spinach salad, this salad has seen various incarnations in my own hands, as well as during our Sunday Dinner series. I'd originally gotten the idea to create this salad when I worked at the Medical District and would frequent The Original Ferrarra Bakery for lunch. It is somewhat of a misnomer; though they are definitely still a bakery with a long history, they have also opened up a restaurant which is very popular among those that live and work nearby.

One of my favorite things to get was their strawberry spinach salad. It featured the obvious strawberries and spinach, as well as a generous serving of gorgonzola, pecans, and a poppyseed dressing. I haven't yet figured out how to replicate their dressing, so I usually just buy mine at the store... but that could be another challenge in the future!

We've done many variations of the salad, including:
-using goat cheese instead of gorgonzola (pictured)
-adding sliced grapes in addition to the strawberries, or subbing 1/2 the strawberries with grapes
-using walnuts instead of pecans
-omitting the dressing completely (ok, that's what I do sometimes. especially if you use gorgonzola, it doesn't need the extra flavor!)

I'll add to this list in case we decide to try any other modifications in the future! In the meantime, I'll write a pretty loose recipe for the salad:

Spinach Poppyseed Salad
4 cups spinach
5 strawberries, or other fruit/berry
1/4 cup gorgonzola, or any other crumbly cheese
2 tablespoons pecans
2 tablespoons poppyseed dressing

Toss salad as desired. Serves one, but scales up easily for groups!

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