Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jihva for Ingredients - Cool and Refreshing Strawberry, Spinach and Mandarin Orange Salad

I am back and first off I want to thank you all for your support and wishes for VKN's Cooking Competetion. There are not enough words to express my gratitude for all the love and affection you all have shown! It made me feel so special!

Back to blogging - coming up later tonight on your favorite browsers is my Jihva for Ingredients submission - cool and refreshing strawberry and spinach salad! Stay tuned!

Here's presenting the strawberry, spinach & mandarin orange salad! (Yes, I added the mandarin oranges as a last minute thing. They are totally optional)

strawberry spinach and mandarin orange salad

With my break, I had totally forgotten about the Jihva for ingredients that Baking Fairy is hosting this month. We got invited to go to a lakeside bbq tonight and were asked to bring a covered dish. I decided to make a strawberry and spinach salad as I thought that would be a cool and refreshing treat to everyone. I got home last night with strawberries and spinach, prepped the strawberries (cleaned, hulled, sliced) and spinach (cleaned, dried, chopped) and that is when I remembered the Jihva event. I am just amazed at how little things like this can make me so happy!

Coming to strawberries - unlike last the month's ingredient (the Mango), I do not have any childhood memories associated with strawberries. When I was in India, this fruit (atleast in my region) was not so common. I ate it occasionally with icecream in icecream parlours/shops. When I came to the US, strawberries quickly became one of my favorite fruits in the U.S. People who know me know that whenever I am asked to buy icecream, I always buy either a strawberry or a chocolate icecream. I just love the sweet, succulent strawberries. Though I never eat fast food (McDonalds, Wendys etc) I do indulge in Sonic's strawberry shake once in a while. It is the best :) in my opinion.

This recipe is adapted from many different strawberry and spinach salad recipes out there in the internet world. I modified the recipes along the way to my own taste. It is very simple to make and 90% of the work can be done ahead of time. I am going to be deviating from my usual software, hardware and method style as this is very simple recipe and I don't want to make it look too complicated by adding all that jargon :)!

Put the following together in a large bowl and refrigerate until chilled:
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach, cleaned, dried and coarsely chopped into bite sized peices
  • 4 cups strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
  • one 15 oz can drained mandarin oranges, juice reserved (optional)
Mix the following together until the sugar dissolves in a medium sized bowl and refrigerate until chilled:
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 cup reserved mandarin orange juice
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch chilie powder/cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
For the candied almonds (optional)

click on pics for enlarged images
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup silvered almonds
Melt the butter and brown sugar on medium heat on a pan(takes about 4-5 min) and add the almonds and the cinnamon. Stir the almonds constantly so as to avoid them sticking to each other as much as possible for about 5-6 minutes until golden brown! Transfer to a wax paper, seperate the almonds as much as possible and let cool.

Pulling everything together

Mix the dressing thoroughly with the first set of ingredients (spinach, strawberries and oranges). Add candied almonds as a topping. Enjoy!

Thank you Baking Fairy for hosting this wonderful Jihva for Strawberries event!


Vaishali said...

You bet we'll stay tuned, L2C.

Ashwini said...

L2C you are back!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am so happy for you. It was a very innovative recipe.

santhi said...

welcome back...
Looking forward for the recipe..
Lake side BBQ.... sounds like fun..

KrishnaArjuna said...

L2c, welcome back
Congratulations on your well deserved win!!

Vineela said...

Hi l2c,
Congrats to you,Sam.
You came up a best recipe.
Hope to see more recipes from you.

archana said...

Congratularions, you deserved it !!!!

wheresmymind said...

Can't wait to see what you are gonna do with spinach and strawberries! :D

Luv2cook said...

Very funny, Jeff :D.

shilpa said...

Congratulations L2C. Happy to see you back.

Cooking Theory said...

Congrats L2C for the win. You really deserve it. I am also wondering how you are going to combine strawberries and spinach together :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! So when is the party??? That was cool to win something like that!!

Menu Today said...

Hi L2C,
Welcome back. Congrats!!! Your Salad looks healthy...

Linda said...

Hey L2C,

Lovely looking salad! Many congrats on your winning recipe at My Dhaba, too :)

Vineela said...

Hi L2c,
Yummy salad.