Spinach Salad with Arugula, Clementines and Croutons

It’s fun to be aware of which fruit and veggies are in season and build a recipe around it. Here, the Clementines, at their peak now, are the star attraction. Not only do they add the perfect color, but their sweet tang is the perfect foil for the dressing and slight edginess of the greens. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This salad was so-o good, it became my whole dinner with wine and a light dessert. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Get all of the ingredients together in one place. Use fresh! Fresh garlic is better than garlic powder. Fresh lemon is better than bottled. Freshly grated parmesan is better than bought and freshly baked croutons taste much better than store bought. I forgot to include the Clementines in this photo. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients 

The Dressing

3 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained

4 fresh garlic cloves

Pinch Kosher salt

1 large egg yolk (boil egg for 1 minute and not longer)

Zest of 1/2 fresh lemon

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more (to your taste)

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons excellent extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons canola oil

6 Tablespoons finely grated FRESH Parmesan

Pinch black pepper

Worchester sauce (one drop)

 

The Croutons

1 cup torn 1“ (bite-size) pieces old bread, with crusts

1 Garlic clove, squeezed

2 teaspoons olive oil

 

The Greens

3 or 4 (packed in tightly) cups of fresh spinach and 3 or 4 cups of (packed in tightly) fresh arugula all leaves separated, washed three times, dried with paper towel. Then leaves torn by hand, put into a bowl and set aside. Both of these green veggies are grown in sandy soil. This is why you really need to wash all the leaves three times, draining each time. Even though the packaging makes the leaves look clean, there’s always a certain amount of sand and/or grit left on the leaves, that’s not visible. It ruins a good salad to feel your teeth crunch down on grains of sand or grit. Also, you have no idea who handled the leaves before or during packaging. It means 5 extra minutes of work, to do this washing routine, but it’s worth the time.

 

Even fresh looking greens need to be washed three times and drained in between the washing. Last, dry the leaves with paper towel. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

Clementines

 

1, 2 or 3, depending on your taste

 

They’re in season now and couldn’t be more sweet and juicy. Simply peel and separate the segments. Use whole segments or cut them in half. Pick out any seeds that’re sticking out, but don’t bother digging into a segment to get them out, unless you feel like doing it.

 

Directions

The Croutons, certainly, can be made the day before and so can the dressing. Otherwise, make croutons first, before you make the dressing. Can you buy packaged croutons? Of course, but try to make them yourself. The flavor is so much better. If you’re going to make a really great salad, you might as well make great tasting croutons. There is simply no comparison! Once you taste the richness of your own croutons, you’ll never buy them again. They’re not a peripheral ingredient, they make the salad better. That’s why they’re in the recipe.

 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, add the 2 teaspoons olive oil and the squeezed juice of one fresh garlic clove. Stir

3. Tear or cut any left-over bread, you have, into (1 inch) bite size pieces, enough for 1 cup (press the bread down a bit, in the measuring cup). Then put the pieces of bread, into the bowl with oil/garlic. My favorite bread for croutons is day old (or older) sour dough bread.

4. Now, toss the bread pieces or cubes and be sure that the bread cubes are all covered (as much as possible) with the oil mixture. Let them sit for a while to absorb the oil, like 30 to 60 minutes. Stir them around every once in a while

5. Arrange croutons on a baking sheet or large pan and bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10-15 minutes. Watch them carefully. Just a little too long in the oven, and they will burn and won’t be useable for the salad. When golden, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

 

Croutons are about to go into the oven. You can see that some pieces have more oil than others. Doesn’t matter. Once added to the salad, dressing will rub onto the croutons and they’ll be delicious. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Out of the oven, crisp, crunchy and delicious; ready to be added to the salad. These are a hundred times better than store-bought. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

The Dressing

1. Use a medium bowl to make the dressing in.

2. Boil one large egg for one minute and remove from heat after 1 minute. Immediately run the egg under cold water. Then carefully crack it open, so as not to break the yolk. You have to separate the yolk from the egg white and use only the yolk in this recipe. Separate and put the yolk into a small container, ready to use in the dressing. This is a precaution worth taking, to prevent salmonella. Never use a completely raw egg.

 

You’ve got to boil the one egg (for the dressing), for 1 minute and not longer. This is a short cautionary step, so as not to get salmonella. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Freshly grated parmesan means doing it yourself. There’s no substitute. Buying a container that reads “freshly grated“ simply is NOT. After a while, you’ll see, there’s something satisfying about doing it yourself. However, if you’re working and raising kids, everyone understands that, so do what you have to do. If kids are old enough, let them share the various steps of a recipe. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

3. In bottom of salad serving bowl put the garlic and the anchovies. With a fork, mash these two ingredients into a paste

4. Next, with a small whisk, add the egg yolk and whisk it into the garlic/anchovy paste; or continue to use the fork.

5. Now, add the lemon zest, 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and whisk; then add the mustard and 1 drop of Worchester sauce, whisk again

 

This type of lemon squeezer catches the seeds while letting the juice flow through. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

6. Next, add the extra virgin olive oil and whisk it into the dressing.

7. Add the canola oil drop by drop, while you whisk it into the dressing.

8. Finally, add the freshly grated parmesan and black pepper (to your taste). Taste to see if the dressing needs more of anything (to your taste). With the anchovies, you may decide not to use any salt. You might want more lemon juice. This is the time to taste and decide. I don’t think you need salt, since the anchovies are salty enough.

9. Whisk the dressing so it’s thick and glossy.

10. When you’re ready to serve, add the greens to the dressing in bottom of salad bowl and toss many times to get each leaf covered with the delicious dressing.

11. Finally, add the croutons and the Clementine segments and toss a few more times, to combine everything.

 

Enjoy!

 

Such a delicious way to get your daily dose of magnesium. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Experimenting recently, with Chateauneuf du Pape. So far, not living up to expectations, but will keep you posted as we move forward into this new taste adventure. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

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