Saturday, May 30, 2015

Fresh Spinach with Blueberry Vinaigrette {Local Roots Food Co-op Feature}

I want to eat simply and clean a majority of the time, yes there are those times when I chose carbs in between puffs of cream, but I want to spend most meals consuming a gargantuan plate of fruit or vegetables next to a clean protein. I also want my food choices to provide me with the highest nutrient density available and to achieve that I want to chose foods grown locally or in season because every second that passes from harvest to consumption nutrient content diminishes. Don't ask me how I know these things, but I can attest to watching a lot of Frontline and that may have something to do with it. 

So, in going with my theories on healthy eating and such, my Fresh Spinach Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette features local spinach from Local Roots Food Co-op grown by Mana Gardens dressed with blueberries from…. New Jersey? Ok, not so local, but I am trying to grow blueberries in a barren patch next to a pine tree **hoping for the best** so next year we're going to have a truly local version of this salad when we harvest from my yard then I'll truly attest to my theories on local and nutrient denseness.
Spinach grown at Mana Gardens
Photo: Mary Sue Stevens
I've never made or eaten blueberry vinaigrette before, but when the stars align (these pictures in my inbox from dearest Mary Sue + spinach & blueberries in my fridge + time to plan a recipe + time to cook the recipe + the easy part, someone to eat the recipe) the stars really align, and I must hither to the kitchen. Yes, at times, I hither. 
Aren't Donovan's pottery bowls fantastic? I've been leaving them on the countertop because I want to eat and serve everything in them! He sells his pottery at Local Roots, the Buffalo Farmer's Market and you can contact him directly here.

Printable Recipe Here

Fresh Spinach with Blueberry Vinaigrette

Yield: 2 side salads

1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon shallot, diced fine (reserve some for topping salad, if desired)
1 tablespoon water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 green onion
1 tablespoon Dukkah
Grey sea salt and additional black pepper

Note: Haven't tried Dukkah before? It's an aromatic blend of ground nuts and seeds that is most beautiful on a plate of olive oil to which you drag a crusty bagguette through. I also like dusting it over my salads for extra crunch and flavor. A breast of chicken would love to be coated and fried in Dukkah, too, actually Dukkah is endlessly versatile. Want to try some? Get some here.   

Make the vinaigrette: Throw blueberries, grapeseed oil, vinegar, honey, dijon, shallots, water, a pinch of kosher salt and a crack of pepper in the bottom a blender, blend on high for a minute, or until emulsified. 

Assemble the salad: Coarsely chop large spinach leaves and arrange in the bottom of two salad bowls. Pour a healthy tablespoon of vinaigrette over the salads. Dice green onion, scatter over spinach. Dust with Dukkah. Season with just a pinch of grey sea salt and a teeny crack of black pepper. Serve alongside a juicy cheeseburger - just a suggestion.

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I'd love to hear all about your kitchen adventures! Xo, Becki