Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Avocado



It was a sight of desolation!

Disheartened I looked at what lay in front of me. It looked as if a bomb had exploded. Hard to believe just a few hours ago this was a place of many wonderful creations and experiments.

Hard to believe this was my kitchen!



Plates stacked up high, glasses half empty lined up like soldiers, serving dishes with leftovers scattered all over the counters. I took a deep breath and shook my head. This was the sight after the party!

Tom and Soeren came in and Soeren let out a whistle, "This looks messier than my room!"
Tom winked at me and said "I'll get Soeren to bed and help you with this."

I nodded and instead of heading towards the chaos I took a detour to our bar. Got two shot glasses and a bottle of Ramazzotti out of the cabinet. I poured myself a glass and downed it in one gulp. Then poured both glasses full and took them to the kitchen. Putting on my apron I started cleaning up all traces the party had left behind.



As the last shining plate, gleaming glass and polished spoon was cleared away and put back into it's proper resting place. I stepped back and smiled to myself.

Turning to Tom I asked him "So, when is our next party planned?" Without even blinking or revealing any emotion he looked at his watch and said "You are getting slow baby!"

"What?"
"Well that question normally comes a little earlier!"

I laughed. It's true ... as soon as I have cleared up the leftovers of one party my brain starts revolving around the next party.

Are you like that too?

If you are then you might appreciate this wonderful salad creation for your next party. Make sure you make enough of it, because this is one salad, which will not be left over. I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite monthly food magazines here in Germany called "Lecker."

This is my entry to this edition of Weekend Cookbook Challenge being hosted over at Marta's with the theme Easter/Springtime Food.


Reminder!

This time I am taking you all on an exciting trip through 1001 Arabian dishes. The Monthly Mingles theme for this month is Arabian Nights. Deadline is April 11, 2007. Be there or you'll miss the belly dancing ;-)
Update: Due to the fact that I have received a few dishes from Morocco and do not want to disappoint these entries I will accept Moroccan recipes too.

The first event on the Daily Tiffin is also underway. Hope you will join the DT team and Show us your lunch box.





Ingredients:

500g fresh baby spinach - washed and cleaned
6 medium sized tomatoes - sliced and de-seeded
6-7 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 entire garlic spud - Peel the spud and then cut the cloves in coarse slices.
Fresh Rosemary and Thyme
100g Ciabatta bread - sliced
2 red onions - sliced
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2-4 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 lemon - zested and lemon juice reserved
1 avocado - peeled and sliced
2 spring onions - chopped
2-3 bay leaves
300g young goat cheese

You'll find these food items at the WFLH Mall:
Ile De France Goat Cheese
Sangiuliano Organic Extra Virgine olive oil






Method:

Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.

Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and spread the Ciabbatta bread slices. Place a slice of garlic on each slice and sprinkle with Rosemary and Thyme generously. Now drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of olive olive. Place in the oven and allow to brown until crispy - 15 minutes.

In the meantime in a small saucepan add 100ml water, red wine vinegar, onion slices and the bay leaves. Bring the entire mixture to a rolling boil and allow to simmer for approx. 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Allow to cool.

In a bowl place the avocado slices and cover well with the lemon juice. Salt and pepper.

In a large bowl add the spinach leaves, tomato slices, lemon zest, onion, spring onions and the avocado slices. Now make a dressing from the raspberry vinegar, remaining olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Mix well and pour over the salad ingredients. Mix well.

Place on a large platter. Divide the bread chips over the salad and arrange the goat cheese on top. If you like you can drizzle some more olive oil over the top.



Verdict:
I made this for my Easter brunch and it was a hit. I had placed the dressing on the side so that the spinach leaves does not get soggy. The salad disappeared within minutes. By boiling the onions in vinegar the salad took on a wonderful aromatic flavor. The avocado gave it a nice fruity and cream touch and the cheese completed the harmony. Wonderful as a quick light supper or a fantastic side.



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22 comments :

  1. I love the pairing of avocado and raspberry vinegar in this salad. Will definitely try it for my next party!

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  2. What a nice spring dish! Lydia, don't wait for a party-I'm going to try it on myself!

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  3. Meeta, I love bread salad like this! Will keep the recipe and try out when possible! :)

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  4. It looks like a wonderful salad. I'd love to come to a party at your house!

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  5. Meeta
    I love your "dressing" idea. However I got confused -- You said "In the meantime in a small saucepan add 100ml water, red wine vinegar, onion slices and the bay leaves."

    Is it red wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar ? Haven't tasted or know about either so I am not sure if its a typo

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  6. Glad you are all enjoying the salad idea.

    Sandeepa It's red wine vinegar for the onions and for the dressing raspberry vinegar.

    Let me know what you think!

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  7. thats a wonderful amalgamation of varied flavours and textures!!!! absolutely beautiful!!!

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  8. Lovely!!! So I understand your Easter brunch was a huge hit! Cleaning up is the biggest thing about a party na...after one such party last weekend at home, I slept before the guests left - they left at 5 AM, i slept at 3 AM, and then I woke up to the tunes of the doorbell as my sweet househelp helped me clean all the mess. One of the luxuries about living in India :)
    Your guests must have had a swell time, would have loved to see all the goodies on the table, and Im sure you have a picture of that ;)

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  9. Hi Meeta - what a gorgeous salad - I love the inclusion of the ciabatta! LOL at Tom looking at his watch... you are truly a hostess at heart!

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  10. Oh Meeta, I'm totally like that! many times I hardly even get through one party when I start planning my next. My Hubby thinks I'm nuts, but I'd to believe that i have this incurable disease which can only be overcome by indulging myself in party planning. And the menu planning, oh what fun! :o)

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  11. Meeta, first of all, the pictures look wonderful, the spinach picture is too cool!!! The salad sounds and looks amazing too...

    I'm just like you about parties. I measure the success of my parties by how messy the house is... The most succesful parties are where we had to call the furniture guys to come and clean the stains off the couch :). I too start planning the menu for the next party even before the guests leave :-)

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  12. Meeta I love the way you lead us into this. This is a lovely salad and the toasty bread has got to be fabulous. I know there will be none left at my house. Ilva's right, I'll be having it first.

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  13. Very nice!
    When you come to Canada and visit me, will you make this for us? :-)

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  14. I am the same way..While the party is underway I am already thinking about the next. We also have the same idea as far as cleaning... a little alcohol always helps!

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  15. great looking colorful salad. I like the goat cheese on top of it too!

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  16. This sounds delicious! Your description of your kitchen after the party sounds like a description of our kitchen once Paul has finished cooking a meal for two!!

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  17. Now THAT's a salad I could fall in love with, Meeta sweetie!

    Looks like I need to add a few more items to this week's grocery list. ;)

    xoxo

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  18. That is completely my kind of salad!! Very nice.

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  19. wow! that must have been some party. lovely salad and jsut what is required for spring. i love goat cheese!@!!!!

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  20. The salad looks delicious...I love goat cheese and i think I can make this salad for MM-Spring is in the Season...:-)

    Congrats on being nominated..

    -Sushma

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  21. Hehe! No wonder most of us get along so well! We are all the same food crazed bloggers.
    Quellia if you invite me I#ll make anything you want sweetie. Oh I think that would be fun!
    Thanks to you all for your comments and compliments.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta