I decided that I needed some greens to go with my salmon and soup that I am serving to my sister. A spinach salad seemed like a good idea, but plain leaves and dressing did not seem like enough. I have been doing a lot of cooking lately and I have several “left over ingredients” on hand.
I made my Orange Infused Sugar this week. This always leaves a “naked” orange that I have to find a use for eventually. Also, when I use an ingredient like pears, as I did with yesterday’s Chicken and Brandied Pears, I have to buy extra in case a roving teenage girl, or wife, comes in and “liberates” something that I was planning to use in a dish.
So, orange, pear and spinach sounds like a salad. A bit of grated carrot as a contrasting color and maybe some red onion for a bit of bite might also be nice. A vinaigrette—maybe lime?—and the dish would be complete.
After Dinner Note: Well maybe not. This was a good salad, but it was missing something. I decided that what I had missed was an accent of crystallized ginger that would have paired nicely with the fruit.
Karl’s Orange and Pear Spinach Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
2 Tbs. olive oil
1½ Tbs. lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. lemon thyme
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
1 navel orange
1 ripe Bartlett pear
½ lb. baby spinach
1 carrot, grated
¼ cup red onion, sliced thin
3 Tbs. crystallized ginger, chopped finely
1. Peel the orange and break it into segments. Cut each segment in half and put it in a sieve over a bowl to catch any juices.
2. Peel and sliced the pear, pole to pole. Cut each slice in half and add it to the sieve. Let the fruit drain for at least 10 minutes.
3. Add the vinaigrette ingredients to a small jar and shake to blend. Let the vinaigrette meld for 15 minutes.
Tip: Crack the garlic clove open, but do not mash it, unless you like a lot of raw garlic in your vinaigrette.
4. Place the spinach, grated carrots and onion into a large bowl.
5. Add the fruit to the bowl and pour any collected fruit juices into the vinaigrette jar.
6. Shake the jar to mix and pour the dressing over the salad.
Tip: Leave the garlic clove in the jar.
7. Serve in the large bowl or portion out to individual salad plates, making sure that the oranges and pears are evenly distributed and on top.
8. Serve crystallized ginger on the side for diners to sprinkle on their salads.
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