Posts Tagged ‘Balsamic Vinegar’

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette with Spinach | Relishing It

Hey everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter (for those of you that celebrate it).  We had a fabulous week.  My parents made the trip to St. Paul to take care of our kids, while Radd and I took a quick trip to Chicago.  We went to see the rock band The National play at the Chicago Theater.  We’re slightly obsessed with this band.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say they’re the best band of all time.  I know that’s a bold statement, but I stand by it.  So there’s my little musical recommendation for you.  Chicago was fabulous and so was time away with my husband. The kids were spoiled by their grandparents, so everyone was happy.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette with Spinach | Relishing It

Let’s be honest, vacationing usually includes throwing caution to the wind and eating whatever one wants.  We did that.  And we drank too many craft beers and cocktails.  Getting back on track is always in order when we return home.  I’ve been eating lots of salads this week.  I had a few spinach salads with this strawberry balsamic vinaigrette and it is– as my five-year old would say “Amazin!”  I’m always hesitant about posting such easy recipes on my blog (this dressing only contains 3 ingredients).  I generally figure that everyone already makes it or uses this trick.  My sister-in-law (whom I chat with everyday on the phone) assures me that is not the case.  I was telling her about this dressing and I think she’ll be making it very soon.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette with Spinach | Relishing It

I usually make this dressing when my jam jar is pretty much empty, but there is still a slight film of jam in it.  I hate to waste, so I pour in some good balsamic vinegar and a splash of good olive oil, put the lid on, and give it a shake.  Voilà!  Out comes this delicious vinaigrette.  The strawberry jam and balsamic vinegar are a match made in heaven–cherry works great, too.   Of course you don’t have to wait until you’re nearly out of jam.  And you certainly don’t have to make just one portion, as I’ve given in this recipe.  Make a jar of it– it’ll keep well in your refrigerator.  It’s great poured onto spinach and topped with chopped almonds and hemp seeds, or whatever you happen to fancy.  Enjoy!

The Recipe: Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette with Spinach

(serves 1)

1 teaspoon good quality strawberry jam

1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon good quality extra-virgin olive oil (California Olive Ranch is my favorite)

Combine ingredients in a jar and shake.  Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  And add a bit more olive oil, if you prefer it less vinegary.  Increase amounts for a larger portion size.  Store extras in the refrigerator.  Toss with fresh spinach.  Top with chopped almonds, hemp seeds, or even blue cheese, if desired.

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First, I want to thank all of you who left comments on my One Year Blogiversary post.  I wanted to thank each of you individually, but that would have complicated things for the contest a bit.  I really do appreciate that you take time out of your day to stop by and see what has been happening in my kitchen.  Congratulations to Tammy Kimbler, who won the cookbook!  She chose that fantastic cookbook, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi.

On to today’s recipe.  I know I’ve mentioned a time or two that I love beets.  Again, I’m not talking about the tasteless little purple cubes that come out of a can.  Beautiful, fresh beets can really be amazing.  One of my favorite ways to prepare them is by roasting.  Roasting brings out their natural sweetness, making them a perfect match for the honey and oranges in this salad.  The balsamic vinegar adds a nice tangy dimension, and the mint provides its signature crisp, freshnesh that ties this dish together.  I sometimes make this dish just for myself– no sharing.  True statement.  I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do– it’s simple, stunning, and so tasty.

The Recipe:  Roasted Beets with Orange and Mint

(Serves about 4)

About 12 assorted small beets (dark reds, chioggia, and golden)

2 medium oranges, supremed

handful of mint leaves, torn

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Wash and trim the beets, but leave the skins on.  Place on a aluminum foil lined baking sheet and drizzle about 2 tablespoons olive oil on them. Cover with more foil and roast in the oven until tender and a knife can cut through them with ease, about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Use a sharp knife to remove the skins and cut the beets into chunks.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and thyme together.  Place  the beets and the oranges that have been supremed into a large bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Gently toss to coat.  Add salt and pepper, if necessary, and sprinkle with the torn mint.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Harvest to Heat

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