Thursday, August 26, 2010

A very non-ecchhyy spinach salad

When the word spinach is spoken, some people say ecchhhh.
   I used to be this way as a kid. Spinach? No thank you. Get that weird green stuff away from me!
   Somewhere along the way, though, I learned to love spinach. Call it taste buds growing up, I guess.
   On Saturday, my husband and I bought some spinach at a local farmer’s market, and I fished around for a recipe to use it in.
   Luckily, I found a terrific one: Spinach Salad with Mango and Candied Pecans.
   Several people who reviewed the recipe on the website recommended adding goat cheese, which is not a listed ingredient.
   Though I am usually loathe to tinker around with recipes, as they have usually been tested and re-tested, so many people suggested adding it that I did.
   It was a nice addition, though my husband and I agreed the salad would probably be fine without it.
   The candied pecans and mango contribute a sweetness to counterbalance the spinach. In fact, the pecans make a lovely snack on their own!
   The salad is very easy to prepare.
   To make the candied pecans, brown sugar, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar are brought to a bubble in a skillet. The pecans are mixed in and stirred around until they are toasted and the syrup coats them evenly.
   The recipe says it takes about three minutes to get the sugar, oil and vinegar bubbling, but I found it took about two. The recipe also says it takes about seven minutes for the syrup to coat the pecans evenly and the pecans to toast, but I found it took much less time, about three minutes.
   The pecans are turned onto a sheet of foil.
   Fresh spinach, mango (I used sliced mango from a can), and the cooled pecans are combined.
   Oil and balsamic vinegar are combined to make a dressing, which is then poured over the spinach and tossed to coat.

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