My sister, Julie, made the best New Year’s Eve dinner ever (she always does). She served this Spinach-Apple Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette, and it was so delicious! She found this recipe in the December issue of Southern Living magazine, and it went great with her Beef Tenderloin and Double-Stuffed Potatoes. I love this salad for wintertime, Valentine’s Day or any fall or winter entertaining. Check out Southern Living for more great recipes.
This appetizer features three of my favorite ingredients: Goat Cheese, Beets and Blackberries. It’s a delicious combination and too easy for words. It comes out looking like a work of art, and the flavors are fabulous together.
This is one of my favorite salads that I raced to the kitchen and developed after I saw a similar salad at a really cool and eclectic restaurant new to downtown Birmingham, AL called Urban Standard. The combination of walnuts, strawberries, blueberries and goat cheese with a vinaigrette made from pomegranate juice and flaxeed oil create the ultimate healthy salad. If you’re really short on time, omit the dressing and use your favorite bottled light balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette. And, if you want to make this a main-dish dinner salad, add 2 cups grilled or cooked chopped chicken or salmon.
By the way, I heard from six different people yesterday from California, two in Nashville, two in Birmingham, Atlanta and even New Jersey who were making my Rigatoni for dinner last night. Thanks for all the awesome support! Best, Alison
Prep: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
21/2 teaspoons flaxseed oil
4 cups fresh mixed greens
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 (4.4-ounce) package fresh blueberries
1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (if you don’t like goat cheese, you can use feta)
1. Whisk together raspberry vinegar, pomegranate juice, honey, mint, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly add flaxseed oil, whisking to combine; set aside.
2. Combine mixed greens, strawberries, blueberries, walnuts and goat cheese in a large serving bowl. Add vinaigrette, tossing well.
While black-eyed peas are supposed to bring luck for the New Year, another superstition in the south is to serve greens such as cabbage, collards, greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money or prosperity in the New Year. As a Recipe Developer, I have created hundreds of spinach recipes for magazines and food companies, and I wasn’t sure which one to share with you for the New Year. I made this version two nights ago by just using what I had in my pantry and in the refrigerator, and it was an instant hit at our dinner table. It’s only 5 ingredients and is healthy, colorful and has a sweet and salty crunch along with the creaminess of goat cheese. Feel free to use what you have in your home. and I wish everyone much hope for a happy prosperous New Year!
Spinach with Dried Fruit, Nuts and Goat Cheese
Prep and cook: 3 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons organic fruit and nut trail mix (I used “Good Sense Organic”)
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh spinach to skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with salt, trail mix and goat cheese. Serve spinach with slotted spoon or tongs.