Happy Tuesday, everyone! Bourbon and Brown Sugar will be reporting from (not-so-sunny) Florida this week. It’s Spring Break in my corner of the world, so I hopped on a plane to hang with my parents and their small army of awesome friends for a few days.
It seems I’ve landed in the midst of a crew of my most enthusiastic readers. I’ve been hailed as a visiting celebrity (rather odd, and a bit refreshing I’ll admit, because I’m decidedly not the celebrity of my family at home.) Recipes and ingredients and favorite cookbooks have dominated the conversations at a pair of gatherings over the past couple of days. This crew loves to gather and eat, and it’s lovely to be a part of it! I’ve happily fielded requests for my Salted Alfajores Bars and the Raspberry-Cherry Crumble Bars. Beyond that, my only other contribution has been assembling a cheese plate (a favorite pastime of mine.)
One of my mother’s friends lamented: “But you’ve been doing nothing but cakes and sweets lately!”
Guilty as charged… but, last week I started working on a slate of recipes to balance things out. I cooked and photographed a few dishes at home before I left. Let’s start with this amazing salad:
You’ll find this Spinach and Strawberry Salad gracing many a buffet table at House Morell during the spring and summer months. This is one happy salad – baby spinach pairs beautifully with fresh strawberries, toasted almonds, and tangy crumbled goat cheese.
Many similar recipes floating about on the Internet feature poppy seed dressing with this combination, but I prefer a Balsamic Vinaigrette laced with a generous dollop of Dijon Mustard and sweetened with a hint of maple syrup. Balsamic + Strawberries = Awesomeness in my book.
Hey, the sunshine came out… I’m off to the beach!
Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese
Serves: 6-8 as a side salad
- About 8 cups baby spinach
- 1 pint strawberries, thinly sliced
- ½ cup toasted almonds
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
The Balsamic Dressing
- ¼ cup good quality olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon real maple syrup
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place the spinach greens on a large platter (or in a large salad bowl)
- Scatter the strawberries over the greens, followed by the goat cheese, then the almonds.
- In a small mason jar, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. Shake vigorously, then drizzle over the salad. Toss the salad (I like to use tongs) until the elements are lightly coated with dressing, then serve.