It’s such fun to do a dinner party when I can use flowers and herbs from my garden. Last week I did a birthday party for 17 people and was fortunate to have daffodils, purple hyacinths, and white double daffodils that are very old fashioned and I can’t remember the name of. Alas, there was nothing pink blooming, and it was a birthday party for a lady … so I bought a bunch of pink tulips. So spring, so pretty, so simple.
I made this Red, White and Green Spinach Salad for the dinner using local spinach from the grocery store. (I don’t have any in my garden yet, but I will) The bonus is the spinach from the store comes washed! Spinach from the garden comes in with gritty grit and needs to be rinsed a few times. This salad is very attractive with its contrast of colour. All the ingredients can be prepared in advance, then tossed at the last minute.
Be sure to toast the sesame seeds. They have so much more flavour toasted and it is easy to do. Put a thin layer of sesame seeds on a baking sheet. Do not grease the sheet as one girl did at my restaurant – they all stuck to the sheet. Roast at 350º F until a light golden colour, stirring as needed because they brown around the outside of the pan first. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Red, White and Green Spinach Salad
8 cups spinach, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced cauliflower
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
Toasted sesame seeds
I small onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup oil
For dressing, put everything except the oil into a blender.
Blend until onion is pureed.
With blender running, pour a slow steady stream of oil into the blender.
Blend half a minute longer.
Will keep for weeks in the fridge.
Assemble salad ingredients in a bowl.
Toss with dressing just before serving. You will not need all of the dressing, refrigerate the remainder for another time. Garnish with additional toasted sesame seeds.
Serves 8 people.