Spinach salad with almonds and kumquats

26 Jan

I also made this recipe last night. I always love a good salad, and this one is a great salad. For convenience and economic reasons, I typically make and eat simple green garden salads with a romaine base and cucumbers, radishes, and sometimes tomatoes added in. My dressings hardly vary, either; they’re usually a red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar based vinaigrette. I make these salads because they don’t require a recipe, they balance out my meals with some much-needed greens, and they’re easy to make.

However, I get really sick of romaine salads after a few weeks of eating the same ones over and over. Any variation is usually devoured as if it were the tastiest thing on the planet. The spinach salad I made last night was not only creative and delicious, it required several flavors I don’t normally think of using when making salad, and it inspired me to dress up my “usual” weeknight salad by incorporating some of these tastes.

The dressing is a mixture of rice vinegar, sesame oil, sliced kumquats (delicious!), ginger and shallots. Mouth-watering, right? Toss that with cilantro, mushrooms, toasted sliced almonds and spinach, and you’ve got a tangy, crunchy salad that’ll definitely have you reaching for this recipe again and again.

As a side note, if you’ve never used/eaten kumquats before (I hadn’t before last night), they’re a sweet, tiny orange-type fruit barely bigger than a large grape. You can eat the skin (you have to; there’s not much inside of them) after washing well. Just slice them up with the skin like lemon slices, and toss them in to a salad. They’re both sweet and sour and a good alternative to madarins.

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