Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Simple Summer Spinach Salad & Cocktail

We had company over for dinner the other night and served spicy herb grilled salmon.  It's a favorite summer recipe of mine because the basil, mint, ginger and jalapeno add just the mix of fresh with a bit of a bite. 

I needed a quick, healthy side and came up with this easy spinach salad.  The combination of herbs in the salmon dish and citrus-y notes in the salad were perfectly matched.  The measurements on the vinaigrette are approximate.  Taste as you go and go with your gut.

1 bag of organic baby spinach
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (don't skip this step, adds lots of flavor)
1 small log chevre (goat cheese), crumbled
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained

vinaigrette dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
2 tsp agave nectar
1 shallot, chopped
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

This salad serves four, with plenty of dressing leftover.

Our guests brought the cocktails and it was such a treat!  I had heard about Moscow Mules from the "Oprah Goes Camping" episode, but never tried one.  O's version calls for simple syrup, but my friends skip this step and I think it's all for the better!  Again, measurements are approximate so give it a whirl and see what you think.  Not sweet and sticky like alot of mixed drinks and so refreshing for summer!!

one cocktail:
1-2oz good vodka (we used Prairie Organic)
4-5 fresh limes, squeezed
1 sprig of mint, torn in pieces
splash of ginger beer (we used Reed's Premium Ginger Brew)

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