Friday, June 14, 2013

Sicilian Spinach Salad

Classic Sicilian flavors on a bed of fresh spinach, drizzled with fresh basil vinaigrette.
A deliciously flavorful salad, perfect for summer.


Back in college, before the low carb craze, I developed an entire relationship over baskets and baskets of bread. Let me explain. Sometime early sophomore year, I met my now good friend Erin. We were opposites from the beginning - she was loud and outgoing, had tons of friends and was always up for anything....especially if it involved a party! I was much more quiet and reserved, more likely to have a few close friends, looking for good conversations and deep connections....and not much for parties at all! And yet, somehow, we just clicked.



We would ride the city bus from Marquette's campus to an Italian restaurant called Louise's. I'm not sure how we chose it or why....but it quickly became one of our very favorite places to be! And I honestly think it was because of the bread! As soon as we would order our meals (always a BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad), they would bring out a basket of fresh-baked focaccia bread with seasoned dipping oil. And we would eat bread and talk - about school, boys, friendships, family....LIFE. And when the bread was gone, we'd ask for another basket, and sometimes even a third.....until we were ready to head back to campus, hours later.


It's funny....we always ordered the exact same thing. And stuffed ourselves silly with bread. Looking back, I think it's because it was never really about the food. It was about the friendship, and the time together. The food was just a bonus! It's one of the things I love most about food - the way it brings people together. As an adult, Louise's is still one of my favorite restaurants. Of course, when we go there, I do a few things differently. Like only eating a few pieces of bread instead of a few baskets. Like trying not to overstay my welcome (no more 3 hour visits!) Like ordering new things on the menu...although the BBQ Chicken Chop is still high on my list.


Another one that's high on my list is their salad with goat cheese, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes. Since ordering it at Louise's, I've used the same ingredients on pizza (amazing!) and in a pasta dish (Sun Dried Tomato Pasta). Now that summer is here again, I decided it was time to go back to the salad....and I made a delicious basil vinaigrette to go with it! I plan to make this salad a lot this summer, hopefully with friends. Because if there's one thing I know to be true about myself, it's that I can really bond with someone over a delicious meal.


Sicilian Spinach Salad
2 c. fresh spinach
2 oz. creamy goat cheese
1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp. pine nuts

Fresh Basil Vinaigrette
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. white wine vinegar (white vinegar will substitute fine)
1 Tbsp. minced red onion 
1 Tbsp. fresh basil
1/2 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients until thoroughly blended.



Enjoy!


Looking for another summer salad recipe? Be sure to check out some of my Berrylicious Summer Salad!





Thanks for taking a peek inside my Lemon Tree Dwelling...
I hope you feel right at home!
-Cathy

17 comments :

  1. Oh my goodness that salad sounds spectacular! I love creative salads like this, great job!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

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  2. Yummy! I love salad in any form. This one looks delish!

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  3. So yummy in my tummy! Stopping by from Nifty Thrifty Sunday

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  4. I'm loving all these salad posts lately - perfect for my "state"! Love basil so this will be added to next week's meal plan...I may substitute feta for goat cheese (my hubby isn't a fan). But I think it will be yummy! Thanks, as alway Cathy!

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  5. This looks delicious, Cathy! Stumbled and pinned :)

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  6. I can't wait to try that ... it looks so delicious!

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  7. I think you need to do a thirty days of salads series! You're so creative (and it would force me to eat salad for a month) How 'bout it? ;)
    Thanks for sharing!
    Kate

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  8. This looks awesome!!! We would love it if you would link up at our linky party:
    http://www.lifewiththecrustcutoff.com/two-girls-and-a-party-linky-party-21/
    Live every Wednesday to Sunday.
    Hosted by:
    http://www.lifewiththecrustcutoff.com/ Parrish @ Life with the Crust Cut Off
    http://thissillygirlslife.com/ Dana @ This Silly Girl's Life
    We hope to see you there!

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    Replies
    1. I am always ready for a new summer salad and this looks so yummy.....I am part Sicilian too! Visiting from Marvelous Mondays and following you via Bloglovin!

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  9. Cathy, this looks amazing!! There's nothing better than good conversation over a (couple) bread baskets! I can't wait to try this salad, YUM!

    ~Jen @ Yummy Healthy Easy

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  10. This entry was so well-written... and has me craving foccacia! Haha.

    The salad sounds tasty, and that vinaigrette would work on a lot of salads, I bet! Thanks for the recipe. :)

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  11. This looks amazing!! Just pinned it too!! Sharing on FB next! ;)
    Thanks for linking up at Monday Funday!
    Hope your weekend is extraordinary!

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  12. I wanted to let you know that this recipe has been featured on Krafty Cards etc’s Recipe Round-up #3 ~ Italian Style. You can view the full post here: http://kraftycardsetc.blogspot.com/2013/06/recipe-round-up-3-italian-style.html.
    Have a great week!
    Maria

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  13. This looks sooo yummy! Pinned it to try it soon.
    KC

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  14. This salad looks awesome! I love the flavors - pinning right now. :) Found this post at Krafty Card's Recipe Roundup and had to jump over to check it out. It would be great if you could share this post at Tasty Tuesdays this week - http://www.hungryharps.com/2013/06/tasty-tuesdays-16-and-dozen-delicious.html Have a good one!

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