Glorious, isn’t it?
Leave it to a pile of pretty red leaves to coax me out of my blogging hiatus.
Curiosity doesn’t rest. Not in this house.
I’ll be honest with you-
I’ve made this salad before. Chunks of avocado and clementines are tossed with tender green leaves and drizzled with a salty-sweet vinaigrette. A sprinkle of sesame seeds blankets the top for a subtle texture on the finish. It’s delicious.
But guess what?
I can have that any day.
What is it about heirloom produce that’s so utterly fascinating?
This beautiful spinach comes from a wild seed cultivated in Europe.
It grows in clusters and gets its signature red color from natural sunlight. The leaves are soft like velvet. I wanted to rub them all over my face! This spinach is mild in flavor and should be prepared with care. A gift from the gods.
And that’s when it hit me-
Ever feel the magic of the farmers’ market?
The locals set up their stalls and tempt us with their beautiful offerings; colorful displays of heirloom produce we’ve never seen before. A sea of excitement. Will there be Snowflake Potatoes this week? Moon & Stars Watermelon? Purple cauliflower?
It’s like Christmas morning.
And then it’s over.
The farm-to-table movement is nothing new. People want variety. They want to support their local farmer.
And considering the majority of our food is genetically modified and doesn’t taste right (hello, tomatoes) wouldn’t you want to eat the real thing?
The food industry is corrupt.
And, I shall refrain from divulging additional details on the subject as you might fall hostage to my so called ‘passionate’ views.
(I wrote a 30 page thesis in college…)
So, here’s the bottom line: the big wigs control the market and want to keep it that way.
The little guys can’t compete.
They grow what they can. Save their seeds. Sell on a small scale.
And that’s the fascination.
Because you can’t have Christmas every day.
- Only dress the salad right before serving. The leaves are very delicate.
- Use leftover vinaigrette for this crunchy, Chinese chicken cabbage salad.
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ red wine vinegar
- ¼ c. soy sauce
- 2 heaped tsp. honey
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled + grated (I use a microplane)
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ c. olive oil
- 4 large handfuls of red heirloom spinach
- 2 clementines
- 1 haas avocado
- sesame seeds
- To make the vinaigrette, add the first 7 ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk well to combine. Slowly add the the olive oil to emulsify.
- Add the spinach leaves to a large salad bowl.
- Peel the clementines and discard the skin. Using a pairing knife, carefully slice away the outer white pith. Cut the clementines into bite-sized chunks.
- Peel and pit the avocado. Chop into chunks.
- Add the oranges, avocado and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Toss with vinaigrette to coat.
- Serve right away.