Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The best spinach salad, EVER - すごーく美味しいほうれん草のサラダ。

Weather: Cloudy; 69°F
Energy Level: 3 out of 10
Mood: Pretty good - mellow.

↑ Our Hug salt and pepper shakers.

Update: I'm a wee bit less dizzy now. This cloudy weather helps. :-) Apparently it may have to do with the balance between my low level of cortisol and the thyroid medication. My doctor is on the case (waiting for lab results).

Imagine this:

It's about lunch time, and you are sitting around the tables at a cooking class. You're slightly hungry. You've just heard how great olive oils are made in Italy, how vinegars are made, and about different types of greens and how to handle them. You've passed around a bit of exquisite balsamic vinegar ($40+ bottle) and tasted some; you've also passed around some fresh herbs from the teacher's garden as well as a great Dijon mustard from France ($31 jar) to smell them.

Then the teacher, whipping out a gorgeous Portabella mushroom probably from the local farmers market, chops it really quickly and starts sautéing the mushroom pieces on a pan. The buttery smell of mushroom fills the room. About the same time, she opens a package of thick bacon slices, chops them up, and starts sautéing those in another pan. The thick bacon smell now wafts through the room, complete with the sizzling sound. She assembles the beautiful salad - baby spinach, green onion, bacon, mushrooms, along with the balsamic dressing she made with fresh marjoram and the Dijon mustard. We've passed around bowls and folks, and are practically licking our lips.

That's when she GRATED a hard-boiled egg into the mix, using a Microplane.
(Which, I must admit, is a neat trick, if you're not allergic to eggs.)

I was aware the recipe contained an egg - something which causes a massive IgG antibody reaction to attack my own body, according to a recent blood test (I didn't know, since I never broke out in hives or anything). But the other two salads we were making were Caesar salad (with egg & Parmesan cheese - a.k.a. dairy, which I'm apparently even more allergic to than eggs) and Greek salad (feta cheese), so I'd thought to myself, "Maybe she'll slice the hard-boiled egg, and perhaps I can just take off the pieces of egg from spinach leaves?"

No such luck - now the egg was in a fine powder form, tossed into the beautiful salad. I did vow to scrape the egg off spinach leaves as much as possible, but the temptation was too great not to eat it. (I'd told the teacher about my allergies, but she said since it was a big class she was unable to make a separate batch.)

For what it's worth, it was maybe the best tasting salad I've ever had. Okay, maybe the hunger and sitting there while the bacon cooked helped. I think the great ingredients also played a part, too.

After attending the class which taught us all the basics of creating your own dressing/marinade from various oils, vinegars/acid (e.g. citrus juice) and flavorings (e.g. herbs, garlic, etc.), Daniel and I were inspired. So we re-created the spinach salad, sans the egg. I think it was much better with the egg, but since the last one gave my stomach one-to-two-days worth of trouble (hey, it was better than when I ate gluten), it wasn't worth it for us. Ç’est la vie.

Still, it's a very good salad! Makes me eat a ton of spinach like Popeye!

Here's the recipe (this makes a LOT of salad - good for a potluck - you could probably half it or just decrease the amount of spinach, if you are just a couple of people like us):

Fresh Spinach Salad

  • 1.5 to 2 lbs tender spinach leaves (I personally think this is way too much - 15-20 oz of baby spinach should suffice)
  • 6 lg. shiitake mushrooms or any fresh mushrooms (we used one Portabella and a couple of shiitakes. Portabella goes really well with this.)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, chopped (could be something else with smoky flavor, like salmon - if you're vegetarian, you could use veggie bacon, etc.)
  • 1 egg, hard-boiled (omit if you are giving it to Aya)
  1. Hard-boil egg and set in cold water to cool then peel.
  2. Wash the spinach in a large bowl of cold water (even if it says triple washed or whatever!), stem the leaves (if necessary) and spin dry.
  3. Slice the mushrooms thickly (or cube, if you've got a huge Portabella) and briefly sautée in unsalted butter or a neutral-flavored (such as canola) oil.
  4. Sautee the bacon in a skillet (until crisp or not, your preference - apparently it's only Americans who sautée bacon till crisp; we preferred it with a bit of texture left), drain oil in the skillet or put on paper towel to drain.
Balsamic vinaigrette ingredients:
  • 1/3 C. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 C. olive oil (pure, as opposed to extra virgin - extra virgin would be too heady and would fight too much with other flavors; while you pour the oil in dressing, you may want to decrease this amount depending on your preference)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp. fresh marjoram, minced
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, coarse style
  1. Put the acid (vinegar) in a bowl and whisk in garlic, marjoram and mustard.
  2. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly.
  3. Toss with spinach, mushrooms, chopped green onions, bacon, crumbled egg and serve.
Yum! It sounds like a simple salad, but the balance between the sweetness of spinach/marjoram/mushroom/egg and the sharpness of green onion/garlic/Balsamic vinegar/mustard is just right.

Maybe I will eat before the cooking class next time.

天候: 曇り; 19°C
元気度: 3/10
気分: ぼーっとしてほにゃほにゃ、まあまあ。

少しめまいが軽くなりました。 引き続きどんより曇りで良かった
知れないとのことです。 難しいのですね。 


お腹はちょっとすきっ腹。 イタリアでどうやって美味しいオリーブ油が

炒めだす先生。 部屋に甘いマッシュルームの香りが広がります。
次はベーコン。 分厚いベーコンを切り、それも先生は同時に
炒めます。 ジュージューと焼く音と一緒に、ぷ~んとベーコンの



IgG 抗体を大量に出して
ことが判明。 蕁麻疹とか出なかったので知りませんでした。)

甘かった。 卵が粉状に近くなってしまった今、かなりまんべんなく
美味しそうなサラダに入ってしまいました。 出来るだけ卵を除けよう、とは
別々のものを作るのは無理とのことでした。 そうですよね。)

・・・すごく美味しかった。 材料が良かった・新鮮だったせいもあると

学んだサラダのクラス。 刺激になって、ダニエルと私も卵を抜いて


ほうれん草サラダ 4~6人分レシピ 

  • 若いほうれん草の葉 1.5 - 2 lbs (650~900g)
    (多分これだと沢山過ぎると思う。 400~500g位でいいのでは?)
  • 大き目のしいたけ5~6個か代わりのキノコ
    (ポルタベラとか。 それだと6個も要りませんね。1~2個?)
  • 青ねぎ(細いやつ)1束、細切れにしておく
  • ベーコン 0.5 lb または200gくらい
  • 固ゆで卵1個 (このブログの管理者に出す場合は除く)
  1. 卵は固ゆでし、水で冷やして皮をむいておく。
  2. ほうれん草を大きなボウルかシンクの中で洗い、硬い茎は取り除き、
    水を良く切る。 (サラダスピナーでやればなお良い)
  3. キノコを厚めのぶつ切りにして、バターか、味が他の材料と喧嘩しない
  4. ベーコンを1~1.5cmくらいずつに切って炒め、油を切る。
  • バルサミコ酢 1/3カップ
  • オリーブ油 1カップ(エクストラ・バージンとか特上のものだと香りが
    最後に入れるとき、好みで加減します。 これより少ない方が、私達は
  • つぶしたニンニク 一片
  • マジョラム 小さじ2 (できれば生、細かく切る)
  • ディジョン・マスタード(粗挽き・粒) 小さじ2
  1. ボウルに酸(この場合酢)を入れ、香りつけのもの(ニンニク、
  2. 油をゆっくり少しずつ、泡だて器で混ぜながら注ぐ。
  3. 大きなボウルにほうれん草、キノコ、切った青ねぎ、ベーコン、
いただきまあす。 シンプルなサラダのようですが、



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