Last night my roommates and I had a couple girlfriends over for wine, snacks and chatter. A few days ago, KD had suggested we make a spinach salad with strawberries, almonds and Humboldt Fog with raspberry vinaigrette. I took her suggestion, but made my own alterations to the salad, which I think were quite a success!
- 4 cups baby spinach, washed
- 1 pint of strawberries, ends trimmed and sliced
- 4 oz Cypress Grove Purple Haze Chevre (or some other herbed goat cheese if you don’t have access to this most amazing variety)
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup orange muscat champagne vinegar (available at Trader Joe’s)
- 1 TB and 1 tsp olive oil (separate)
- salt and pepper to taste
Toast the pecans in about 1 tsp olive oil over a medium-low flame, tossing frequently so they do not burn. Let cool and set aside. Crumble the Chevre and add it to a large salad bowl with the spinach and strawberries, adding the pecans once they have cooled. Whisk the TB of olive oil into the vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Dress and toss just before serving.
This makes a great side salad, or as the main dish among several other appetizers (we also served smoked salmon, smoked trout, Midnight Moon and a baguette). I served the salad with 2011 Navarro Sauvignon Blanc, which is a smooth, slightly fruity wine with a soft acidity – a good match to this sweet and creamy salad!