Food for Friday

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas. 
                                                                   ~Author Unknown

Isn’t it marvelous that, in our world, we have access to the most wonderful selections of fresh fruits and vegetables all year round?  Although they may not be quite as tasty in winter as they are straight from a summer garden, we enjoy an astonishing variety of foods that our ancestors could never have imagined when they were struggling each day to survive a hostile winter.

Last year I shared a wonderful salad recipe here, and during the year another blogger turned me onto an article in the New York Times, 101 Simple Salads for the Season Sure, it was published in July, but I’ve already made my point about the ubiquity of fresh foods in our 2010 world.

You must try #7, the carrot and blueberry salad.  I have, and it is worth  raving about!

Just for giggles, I thought I’d see if I could find a salad recipe that included lettuce but not mayonnaise or heavy whipping cream in a Paula Deen cookbook – AND I DID!  Even the butter is measured in teaspoons, not tablespoons, in this interesting dish from The Lady & Sons, Savannah Country Cookbook.

Orange Walnut Salad with Sweet-and-Sour Dressing

Salad Ingredients
3 small heads Bibb lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces
1-1/2 lbs. fresh spinach, cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces
3 oranges, peeled, sectioned, and seeded
3/4 medium red onion, sliced and separated into rings
3/4 c coarsely-chopped walnuts
3 t butter

Combine lettuce, spinach, oranges, and onion in a large bowl.  In a saucepan, sauté walnuts in butter until lightly browned.  Add to lettuce mixture and toss with dressing.

Dressing Ingredients
1-1/2 C vegetable oil
3/4 C vinegar
3/4 C sugar
1-1/2 t salt
1-1/2 t celery seed
1-1/2 t dry mustard
1-1/2 t paprika
1-1/2 t grated onion

Combine all ingredients in a lidded container and chill; shake well and toss with salad.

C = Cup; t = teaspoon

I’m sure many of you cooks out there know how to turn this into a low-fat, low-sugar dressing that would make this a really healthy salad ~ and it sounds so tasty.  When I think orange, onion, and spinach in a salad, I have to think about the sweet and tangy taste of a good balsamic vinaigrette, even something like this.

Here’s to a great start to the new year in the kitchen!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place.

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