Posts Tagged ‘Spinach Salad’

Iron-Rich Foods

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
The clams in these fritters are high in iron.

The clams, egg, and, parsley in these fritters are high in iron.

Yesterday I visited my friends at the television program Mass Appeal. We were originally scheduled to make simple appetizers and an even simpler dessert.

The producers decided to devote the entire episode to the worthy cause of donating blood, however, and asked me whether I would change the menu to feature foods with a lot of iron.

Here’s what I know about iron in food. (I started to tell this story on the air but got distracted; I’m still learning how to work on TV!)

My great-grandfather died of pernicious anemia in 1917 at the age of 56. He was a physician—but in 1917 even physicians didn’t know that iron could help with anemia.

His granddaughter, my mother, was understandably worried about anemia. When my brother and I were growing up, our mother served us liver on a fairly regular basis in order to make sure we had enough iron in our diets.

It was NOT my favorite food, and my mother learned to watch me carefully as I ate it to make sure I didn’t surreptitiously feed most of my portion to the dog.

As I grew older, I realized (and quickly informed my mother) that the liver was unnecessary. As this chart from the Red Cross illustrates, any number of foods—most of them tastier than liver, in my opinion—contain that mineral.

So of course I told the producers at Mass Appeal that I would be delighted to whip up a little iron.

We began by making clam fritters and spinach salad. Here is the video.

[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPR7kcEHAdA[/youtube]

And here are the recipes. The fritter recipe is (slightly) adapted from Narragansett Beer; the company kindly provided me with this formula for an upcoming book!

Next, we made Kate’s Fantastic Ginger Snaps from my Pudding Hollow Cookbook. The Kate in the recipe is Kate Stevens of Charlemont, Massachusetts, who generously shared her recipe with me.

These cookies get iron from both molasses and ginger—and I have never served them to anyone who has not fallen in love with them.

Here’s the video.

[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOSmi_AXg64[/youtube]

And here is the recipe.

I’ll be back on Mass Appeal in a couple of weeks playing with zucchini. In the meantime, I hope my readers will make sure to eat foods with lots of iron—and of course to donate blood.

snapsweb

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Very Berry Salad

Friday, June 18th, 2010

 
We’re lucky enough to be enjoying lovely fresh baby spinach right now in my corner of Massachusetts.
 
My mother and I have been wallowing in it! First, we purchased a bag at the new Charlemont Farmers Market from Sheila Velazquez of Pen and Plow Farm in Hawley.
 
A couple of days later we went to pick up a share at our CSA, Wilder Brook Farm in Charlemont, and we were treated to more spinach!
 
Kate and John at Wilder Brook also gave us some lovely strawberries—tiny, almost wild ones. In addition, among other veggies they handed out a root called hakurai. Hakurai is white and resembles a radish although it may be a little sweeter.
 
I decided to put together a salad featuring the spinach and some of our other goodies. I don’t believe one can ever have too many strawberries when they are in season so I used them in the vinaigrette as well as the salad.
 
The strawberry vinegar recipe I employed is from my Pudding Hollow Cookbook. Of course, I assume that everyone reading this blog either owns this lovely tome or is about to buy it! Just in case you’re waiting for a special occasion to add it to your cookbook library, I’m giving you the vinegar recipe here.
 
I haven’t specified exact measurements for the vinegar or a yield because the proportion of liquid you get from this recipe depends upon the juiciness of the berries you use—and how many you choose to use! 

Do try this salad. It’s sweet with a touch of savory. The contrasting textures of the spinach, berries, hakurai, and cheese really work together. My mother looked doubtful when I put it in front of her, then promptly ate every bite and asked for more…….

 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
for the strawberry vinegar:
 
strawberries (don’t use too many at a time or this will take forever)
enough distilled white vinegar to cover them
equal amounts of sugar and water
 
for the salad:
 
1/2 pound fresh spinach
4 small or 2 larger (more or less to taste) hakurai bulbs (use radishes if you don’t have hakurai), thinly sliced and cut in half if they seem a little big
15 to 20 tiny strawberries
crumbled feta cheese to taste
 
for the vinaigrette:
 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon strawberry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
 
Instructions:
 
The day before you want to eat your salad (or any time up to a year before!) start the vinegar.
 
Place the berries in a non-aluminum pan (I use a porcelain dish). Cover them with the vinegar, and leave them to soak, covered, overnight. If you forget them for a day and wait 2 nights, they will still be fine.
 
The next day (or the day after that), gently strain the juice through cheesecloth. You may squeeze the berries a little, but don’t overdo; letting the juice drip out on its own is best.
 
Measure the juice. Then measure a little under 1-1/2 times as much sugar and water as juice (i.e., if you have a cup of juice, use just under 1-1/2 cups of sugar and 1-1/2 cups of water) into a saucepan.
 
Cook the sugar/water mixture until it threads. Measure the resultant sugar syrup. Add an equal quantity of berry juice to it, and boil the mixture for 10 minutes. Strain this boiled vinegar through cheesecloth, and decant it into sterlized bottles. Cork or cover. Stored in the dark, strawberry vinegar should keep its color and flavor for up to a year.
 
 
When you’re ready to make the salad, combine its ingredients in a pretty bowl.
 
Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar with a tight lid. (Depending on your taste, you may want a little more or a little less dressing than I specify here, but the oil/vinegar proportion of 2 to 1 should hold.) 

Shake to combine, and toss the vinaigrette onto the salad. Serves 4 generously.


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Harvest Salad

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

harvest salad web

 
I originally planned to post this salad for Sukkot, the week-long Jewish harvest festival. Somehow, the calendar got away from me!
 
When I decided to make salad my theme for this week, however, I remembered how much I liked the slightly sweet/slightly tangy honey-mustard dressing and resurrected the recipe for my table and my blog.
 
The bacon wouldn’t be very appropriate for Sukkot, of course, but it does help transform the salad into a whole meal. The final product has fruit, protein, calcium, vegetables, and nuts. And it tastes terrific, too.
 
The dressing recipe makes enough for another day. Just be sure to refrigerate the leftover dressing–and to bring it to room temperature and shake it well before you use it again.
 
Ingredients:
 
for the dressing:
 
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground pepper to taste (I like to grind the pepper mill about 6 times)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
 
for the salad:
 
1/2 pound uncooked spinach leaves
1/2 cup walnut or pecan halves (or more if you like)
1 apple (your choice, cored but not peeled)
1/2 small red onion, chopped into rings or pieces
1/2 cup crumbled feta or blue cheese (or more if you like)
3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (or more if you like)
 
Directions:
 
First, make the dressing. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the vinegar, the juice, and the honey until the honey dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat, and let the mixture cool for a few minutes; then use a whisk to stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper. It will take a while for the ingredients to smooth themselves out.
 
Finally, slowly whisk in the oil. Careful pour the dressing into a jar with a tight-fitting lid that will hold at least 1-1/2 cups of liquid.
 
Wash the spinach thoroughly.
 
Place the nuts in a small frying pan, and fry them over low heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly, to release their oils. Take the pan off the heat.
 
Just before you are ready to eat, slice the apple. In a salad bowl, combine the spinach, onion slices, toasted nuts, apple slices, cheese, bacon (if using), and cranberries.
 
Shake the dressing, and pour a third to a half of it onto the salad. Toss the salad well but carefully.
 
Serves 8.

 
tinkysoup

  
By the way, since I know many of you are probably in the midst of holiday shopping right now (I’m starting soon, I promise!), I thought I’d remind you that copies of my Pudding Hollow Cookbook are available.
 
Of course, I’m sure most of my faithful readers’ friends and relatives already have copies of this lovely book (my text, Judith Russell’s illustrations), but if someone on your list doesn’t own a copy please consider buying it.
 
Domestic postage and gift wrap are free (although I have to confess that my gift-wrapping skills aren’t as good as my cooking).  And I love to sign copies of the book.
 
Here’s the link…..
 

PuddingHollow_Cover1203