There are certain foods that look and taste a million times better when they’re in season. I anticipate the arrival of particular foods all year: asparagus in the spring, BC cherries, apricots and peaches in the summer, squash in the fall, kale in the winter. Last week, I was delighted to see the return of one of my favourite seasonal items: Lund’s Organics Spinach.
This is truly a special product (almost as great as Lund’s famous carrots)! For just $6, you get a huge bag of gorgeous leafy greens. This bag usually lasts me more than a week, even though I eat spinach at least once a day. Lund’s spinach is so crisp and bright, not bitter or dry like some leafy greens. It makes great stand-in for boring mixed lettuce in your salads. Bonus: darker spinach leaves pack more of a nutritional punch than lettuce, not to mention more flavour.
To highlight this beautiful vegetable, I paired it with another summer favourite (berries) to make a nice and light salad. I mixed chopped spinach leaves and green onions, then tossed them in a tangy, slightly sweet honey lime dressing. I finished off the salad with fresh raspberries, bright, cool mint leaves, creamy, soft Noble Meadows goat cheese and crunchy toasted almonds. This colourful and refreshing salad would be a welcome addition to any barbeque or potluck or dinner out on your patio.
Super Summer Spinach-Berry Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
- A few handfuls of spinach (washed, dried and chopped)
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced ½ cup raspberries (could use blackberries, strawberries, blueberries or a mix of all!)
- ¼ cup Noble Meadows plain soft goat cheese (sold at the Broxburn booth) ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted* (could use chopped walnuts, pecans or sunflower seeds instead)
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp walnut, avocado or olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp lime zest (optional)
- Pinch of sea salt & pepper
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small mason jar. Seal the lid and shake vigourously. Season with salt and pepper. Makes about 1/3 cup.
For the salad, toss together spinach and green onion and toss with 1 tbsp of dressing to coat. Add in the mint, berries and goat cheese. Drizzle with another tablespoon of dressing. Sprinkle toasted almonds on top and finish with a few grinds of fresh black pepper.
Add some grilled chicken or fish to this salad for a complete meal. Serves 2-3 but could easily be doubled.
*To toast nuts or seeds, heat a small skillet on medium heat. Add the almonds to the dry skillet. Stir often and do not leave them unattended. Remove from heat once the almonds have browned slightly and are fragrant (about 3-5 minutes). Allow to cool before adding to salad.
My name is Heather Johansen. I used to be a lazy, overweight, TV-dinner-eater with no idea how to prepare healthy, great tasting foods. Tired of the microwave monotony, I took a cooking class and started to experiment in the kitchen (and exercising!). By learning how to cook for myself, I lost weight and kept it off but have also discovered a passion for turning ordinary ingredients into healthy & delicious fare.
I love finding new-to-me ingredients and experiencing their exciting flavours. Kingsland Farmer’s Market is an awesome place to seek out interesting food finds. Not only do they carry a vast amount of uncommon foods but so many of them are locally grown or produced. The options are endless and change with the seasons. Once you think beyond the usual farmer’s market finds, you’d be surprised how creative you can be!
My blog posts will focus on take an unfamiliar ingredient – a “Hidden Gem” found at Kingsland Market – and I’ll show you how to prepare it! Cooking can sometimes be intimidating, especially when you don’t know how to approach a food. I want you to embrace the challenge of creating a delicious, nourishing meal or snack from any ingredient. Join me in the excitement of trying something new!