January 2010

Zesty Freshy Spinach Pear Salad

by Amber on January 28, 2010

Meet my winter happy salad! We haven’t seen the sun in days, and the constant grey is starting to affect my mood. However, there is a blessing to California living. Despite the cloudy skies, our trees are covered in bright orange, and our gardens are perky with greens. My own garden is happily churning out spinach, despite the recent frosts. The farmers’ market is still selling the last of the pear crop. All this color calls for a celebratory salad, the likes of which will perk up any mouth and mood!

Welcome to my Zesty Freshy Spinach Pear Salad. When served on a yellow plate (a must!), this delightful salad offers the crunch of strong, fresh spinach, the zip and happy aroma of grated orange zest, the sweet melting away of hearty pear sugars, and the meaty richness of pistachio nuts. The lively orange juice and grainy mustard dressing add the perfect energy to this pick-me-up salad. Top with some parmesan, and you’ve got a true winter winner!

Zesty Freshy Spinach Pear Salad

One bunch fresh spinach
One pear, diced
¼ cup pistachio nuts
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Zesty Orange Mustard Dressing:
Zest of one orange
Juice from one orange
2 Tablespoons grainy mustard, such as Boetje’s Stone Ground Mustard (you can find it at Corti Brothers in Sacramento)
¼ cup olive oil (depending on how juicy your orange is)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash and dry spinach. Tear leaves by hand into large pieces and throw them in a large mixing bowl.

Make the salad dressing by adding the orange zest, juice, and mustard to a small bowl. Whisk together. While whisking, add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add black pepper and whisk again.

Add desired amount of dressing (you’ll probably have more than you need) to the spinach and mix with tongs to coat leaves.

Split the leaves between two yellow plates. Top each plate with half the pear, nuts, and cheese. Serve and smile!

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