Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wonderful Spinach

 I am on a spinach kick these days-coming up with as many ways I can think of to make sure I get a daily dose.

Not only does spinach pack a punch of vitamins and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection. It has more calcium in it than iron (which was surprising!).

Nutritionists believe that raw spinach is a much more beneficial way to absorb these essential nutrients, but lightly cooking or steaming it is not the end of the world!

I can't recall where or how I found this recipe for Wilted Spinach Salad with Hazelnuts, but it makes a lovely winter salad and very easy to prepare as well as addicting! I think it may be from an old Gourmet magazine......

Wilted Spinach and Hazelnut Salad

2 handful of baby spinach, washed (per person)
1/4  cup hazelnuts
1-2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or chopped fine (you decide)
2 tablespoons olive oil
drizzle of good balsamic
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the hazelnuts and toast in a skillet with the olive oil. Add the garlic being careful not to burn.

Pour over spinach in a salad bowl, toss with the balsamic and season with salt and pepper.

EXTRA CREDIT: add a few spoonfuls of soft goat cheese for some real magic!

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