Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spinach, Strawberry, and Hearts of Palm Salad

For the barbecue I didn't want to make a garden salad.  There were several guys and salad just doesn't seem like "man" food.  I'm not so sure Spinach Strawberry salad does either but this was the one that I ended up making.  I've made Spinach Strawberry Salad before and the family has enjoyed it.  I had a can of Hearts of Palm in my cabinet that I had bought intending to make a recipe and then I never did.  When I saw that I could use them in this recipe I was happy.  I honestly didn't know what a heart of palm was to tell you.  But according to Wikipedia, hearts of palm are the vegetables harvested from the inner core of certain budding palm trees like the coconut tree, Acai palm, and sabal. The flavor and texture remind me of a canned artichoke.  They added a nice flavor and texture to the salad and was definitely a "different" addition. 

Spinach, Strawberry, and Hearts of Palm Salad
recipe slightly adapted from courtesy of Paula Deen

1/3 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 small red onion, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 pounds baby spinach, washed
1 can hearts of palm, drained and chopped
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced

For the dressing, combine the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a small non-reactive saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature. When cooled, whisk in the oil, onion, poppy seeds, dry mustard and paprika until thoroughly combined. Set dressing aside. In a salad bowl, combine the spinach, hearts of palm, and strawberries. When ready to serve, add some of the dressing, and toss gently. Serve the remaining dressing alongside the salad so diners may add more, if desired.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

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