Watching Popeye wolf down can after can of spinach wasn’t enough to tickle my taste buds for it. Picky eater that I was when I first tried it, only in my early twenties, it required a few encounters to appreciate it. I suppose that one might say that spinach is an acquired taste: we now consume a couple of bags of baby spinach per week, and maybe more. In this salad it’s the leading man, with just two supporting actors: slivered almonds and shaved parmiggiano cheese. I adapted the recipe from one I found in Everyday Food, that lovely Martha Stewart publication that’s always peeking at me in grocery stores, next to the cashier. 😉
SPINACH SALAD WITH ALMONDS AND PARMIGGIANO
(adapted from Everyday Food, June 2010)
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1/3 cup slivered almonds
3 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch baby spinach
1/3 cup shaved parmiggiano-reggiano cheese
Toast the almonds in a 350 F oven or on a dry, non-stick skillet, until fragrant and light brown. Do not let them burn. In a large bowl, combine almonds, oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
Add the spinach and half the cheese, toss well to coat them with the dressing. Add the remaining of the cheese on top, and serve immediately.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: Spinach is the basis of this salad, but the almonds take the flavor to another level, from good to great. It’s all about how you toast them: if they’re just dark enough you’ll get an intense, popcorny flavor, without bitterness. This time I hit the jackpot, and I hope that you do too!
We enjoyed it with salmon but it will complement many other dishes: roasted chicken, grilled pork, a juicy T-bone steak, or even a panini. The original recipe used arugula instead of spinach, so keep that in mind as an alternative.
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