We can’t always explain why we are the way that we are. We can’t usually find reasons to explain our behavior…. Some days are good, some are not as good and some are just not good. It happens. Well, at least it does to me. When I get like that it’s no ones problem but my own so I have to find a soloution. To the kitchen we go….
Something new, summery, and delicious, found it’s way into my menu tonight. For years I’ve enjoyed my Mommy’s awesome Spinach Salad. I’ve made it many times and I’ve blogged it here before. I needed some fresh basil and feta for another dish so I was racing to the grocery store for probably my 3rd trip this week (my organization skills blow chunks) I walk in and all the fruit was glorious AND….. on sale! Strawberries were calling my name as were the glorious BC cherries. KIWIS!! oh and 3 bananas and seriously, these are the largest grapes I’ve seen in my life!! How lucky to live in such a great place with so much healthy crisp produce. Woooo Hooooo. Who wants to come visit me?? I’ll feed you!
With a cart full of fruit and the rest of the stuff I needed, homeward bound. I’ve always wanted to add strawberries to a spinach salad but never had the push to do it. Well its go time now and I’m super excited. Then the flavour profile I’ve been desiring came to me! Oh but wait. I don’t have what I need and I just got back!!! In a grocery store, I am easily distracted. Always sure to forget something or things, so I make lists… and even then I fail. I’m not going back…. so after begging Hubby to go once, twice, 4 or 5 times.. pouted around for a bit…. he put down his tools and ran to the market to get me some Jalapenos.
K so maybe you know your peppers, and you’ve looked at the pics from this post and you know those are not jalapenos in my photos. Well the little market up the street didn’t have good looking jalapenos…. they were old and wrinkled and worthy mind you but for photos… nope. Serranos are a great sub for jalapenos but 3 times hotter FYI….
Serrano Chili Peppers are the thinner of the 2, where as a Jalapeno Pepper is the girthy one. *wink wink*
Ladies, I mean chefs…. pick your preference… haha
The idea in my head comes to life and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Photos by me, House Of Haley Photography
Here is my Strawberry Jalapeno Spinach Salad with a very special dressing. Strawberry Jalapeno Balsamic Red Wine Vinegar Dressing. Try saying that after a few glass of wine… or bottles for some of you. Hey, I don’t judge, you do you, its cool!
I’m pretty sure I could have come up with a much more simple name but when I’m looking for a recipe or when i’m wanting to make something it frustrates me having to read through a recipe to try and figure out the flavour profile from it. The title says it all!
And here is the dressing. Almost as cute as Strawberry Shortcake LOL. Seriously made him go to the store for the pepper for this shot. Let me add in another “LOL” OMG i’m howling, I’m sorry if that’s not as funny to any of you as it is to me! Thanks Hubs
STRAWBERRY JALAPENO BALSAMIC RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING
♥ 2 CLOVES GARLIC
♥ 1 C. RED WINE VINEGAR
♥ 2 T. JALAPENO WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR
♥ ½ C. OLIVE OIL
♥ 1 TSP. SALT
♥ 1 TSP. SUGAR
♥ 1 TSP. GRAINY MUSTARD
♥ ½ TSP. GROUND BLACK PEPPER
♥ 1 WHOLE STRAWBERRY
Combine and blend/pulse for just a few seconds till the garlic is no longer whole and vinegars and oil have blended. DO NOT OVER DO IT. Trust me….. Just for a few seconds.
The Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar was a Christmas gift from Sister In-Law and it’s a great addition to many meals. I use it mostly when I do any type of roasted potatoes. With the right seasonings, its a great way to brighten up the flavours.
I certainly don’t expect you to have this Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar, nor do I expect you to go out and buy some. Althought, it’s totally recommended for your pantry fo sho! This one is from Evoolution out of Edmonton, Alberta, CA.
Let’s get to it shall we!
Words can’t explain what it’s like to cook upstairs…. renos are coming along… thats all i can say. So cool! Look at the way that natural daylight casts across all that divine good-for-you food up there. haha It’s the simple things in life.
Again I’m using my new immersion hand blender and the mixing vessel it came with to make this. You can use a blender but you’ll end up with most of it on the sides. Use a battery operated whisk or just chop up the strawberry and garlic before you make the dressing, put it all in a jar and shake the crap out of it.
I peeled 2 cloves of fresh garlic. Its hard for me to use such a little amount, but 2 cloves is just right.
Add in the vinegar’s and then the oil. If you find after it’s all done that it’s too thick… add in some more vinegar and whisk it up. If you over blend this you’ll end up with a strawberry like mayonnaise.
Next add in the S+P, sugar and mustard. The mustard is crucial to the flavour of this dressing. I’ve used mustard powder before but I find French’s Bold & Spicy Deli Mustard to be the perfect one. I’m actually addicted to this mustard. So so so good I could eat it with a spoon.
Now blend. I’m going to be straight up honest here… I bombed this the first time, hence my warnings…. DO NOT OVER BLEND hahaha. Pulse a few times, The strawberry is obviously going to thicken it up quite a bit. I’ve increased the amounts of vinegar to hopefully compensate. This is why I say recipe blogging is tricky. So as always, make it your own. Do what you feel is right and adjust to your liking. We are all different.
STRAWBERRY JALAPENO SPINACH SALAD
♥ 1 BAG BABY SPINACH, FRESH AND WASHED
♥ HARD BOILED EGGS, COOLED AND SLICED (1 PER PERSON)
♥ MUSHROOMS, FRESH AND SLICED
♥ STRAWBERRIES, SLICED AND SLICED
♥ BACON, COOKED AND CRUMBLED
♥ 2 T. GREEN ONIONS, FINELY CHOPPED
♥ 2 TSP. JALAPENO OR SERRANO PEPPER, FRESH AND DICED
Make this salad up just before you’re ready to eat. Plate it per person rather than in a large salad bowl. I find that the ingredients are at such different weights that you don’t get a proper serving. Person 1 will get all spinach and egg, while the last person gets all the bacon onion and pepper. LOL Just my opinion.
This is where you get to do your fancy…. BE FANCY Plate it up per person, make it pretty, show you care. Then you can give yourself those extra slices of strawberries and bacon. Haha shhhhhhhh….
Use about a handful of spinach leaves per person. Layer in individual salad bowls or plates and drizzle with a little of our Strawberry Jalapeno Dressing from up above.
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