Soooo, it’s hot. There is no central AC in our house. I have very few complaints about our lovely home, but the lack of central AC is one of them. Yeah yeah, I’m a whiny baby, I know. But I will not apologize for hating being hot and sweaty. If you know me, you know that combo equals cranky, and man I’m a pill when I’m cranky.
That wordy intro was an explanation as to why there is not a whole lot of cooking happening in casa Cheater Bites. When it’s already 85+ degrees in my kitchen, there is no way – let me repeat NO WAY – I will be turning on my oven. Thankfully we now have a super awesome grill that even has a side burner where I can saute.
These days, I am constantly looking for inspiration and recipes for the grill or that do not involve any cooking. I gravitate toward much lighter fare in the summer to begin with, so this isn’t too much of a switch from the usual, central AC summers of years past. I love salads and have been making them quite a bit lately. I normally just throw whatever I have laying around in a big bowl and toss with whatever dressing I have premade or store bought. It gets a little boring, and sometimes I get stuck in a salad rut.
I recently was in a serious salad rut. I could not put ranch dressing on one more vegetable. Luckily I had the makings of this little gem of a salad to pull me from the rut. I’m a fan.
you will need:
1 bag spinach
½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped pecans (candied if you like)
½ cup strawberries, thinly sliced
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
freshly ground pepper to taste
If you would like to candy your pecans, toss the chopped nuts with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 2 teaspoons of sugar; place on a baking sheet in a 350° oven for about 7 minutes until crunchy, then let cool. Make the balsamic reduction, or use leftover like I did. Whisk the cooled balsamic reduction with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Taste and adjust the oil, salt & pepper levels to your liking.
Rinse and dry the spinach and set aside. Slice the onion and strawberries. Either in a large bowl or individual serving bowls, place a mound of spinach. Add the onion, strawberries and nuts. Sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese and drizzle with the dressing. Add a bit of freshly ground pepper and give it a little toss. Serve with extra dressing to drizzle, it’s delish!
time: 15-20 minutes
source: CB original