Monday, April 13, 2009

Meatless Monday: Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Last week, my husband and I picked up our first box of fresh fruits and veggies from Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark (CA) as part of a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that we joined. Now, weekly, we'll be getting a mystery box of delicious, locally-grown produce that was harvested from the field just the day before. Let me tell you, I have not tasted such fresh fruits and veggies in a LONG time. Yum! Seriously, it's remarkable just how good everything has been. It's as if my taste buds had completely forgotten how fruits and veggies were really supposed to taste. And it was so fun to open the box not knowing what might be inside. (Of course, it will be a selection of what's in season every time, but it's still a surprise.) This week, it was spinach, purple cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, Easter radishes, leeks, Albion strawberries, romaine lettuce, and red leaf lettuce.

The box is bigger than it may appear here. You can only see one layer, but there's an entire other layer under there. In other words, it's a whole lot of fruit and veggies for only two people to get through in just one week! But we're up for the challenge. If anything, it should make it more likely that we get our daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies. And hopefully, it will also mean that we end up eating more fruits and veggies than meat, choosing healthier snacks, and making more really great recipes like this next one.

Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese Bruschetta

This recipe was a great choice for us this week because it made use of two of our CSA box ingredients - spinach and strawberries - and also because . . . it calls for goat cheese! In an earlier post, I mentioned how much I love goat cheese, so it's not surprising that I've since posted a couple of recipes with goat cheese in them. What is surprising is that it's taken me so long to share this particular recipe containing goat cheese with you because it's one of my favorites. I was also surprised to realize that, since this regular Meatless Monday post started with its first post back in October, I haven't introduced even one leafy salad recipe (although there have been a few other types of salad recipe posts). So, in short, I'm overdue in sharing this with you and, for that, I apologize. (And I do feel the need to apologize - people, it's that good!)

Three notes about this recipe: 1) be very careful when toasting the almonds; if you don't watch closely, they'll burn before you can blink an eye; 2) use baby spinach if you can because it's more tender; and 3) did I mention this stuff is delicious? Even the salad dressing on its own is so good you might consider carrying a secret flask of it in an inside pocket, dabbing it behind your ears, writing it a love letter, . . . or, at the very least, using it on other sorts of salads too.

With the California Strawberry Festival just around the corner, I definitely see more of this salad in my immediate future. . . . That's right, Albion, I've got my eye on you!

Got any favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday posts


Melanie said...

mmmm- this sounds delicious. Unfortunately my husband doesn't like goat cheese, so I would have to substitute. My sister makes a similar salad with fresh Kale- I'll have to get her recipe for you.

I'm so jealous that your CSA has started already. Ours doesn't start until June here.

Cheri said...

Doesn't like goat cheese! Mon dieu, how is this possible?! But, more importantly, what would you substitute for the goat cheese . . . and is is just as delicious? (I'm pretty free with my fromage affections so wouldn't be opposed to falling in love with another cheese!)