I had big plans a couple of weeks ago to post some fruity dressings and light summery salads. Unfortunately, the new school year has interfered a bit. After tromping across campus a few times, doing my readings and attempting to go to the gym, work and have a social life, my blogging has fallen a bit low on the priority scale. But I’m ready to dive back in. I finally had two days in a row off this week and am getting a chance to do a little pleasure reading and writing.
I knew I wanted to do a salad for my next post but was feeling a little uninspired. I headed down to Whole Foods to fire up my brain and creative juices. I left empty-handed because everything was too expensive. I also noticed that it’s Fall! Berry prices have skyrocketed (duh) because they’re out of season. I journeyed across the street to a less esthetically pleasing but better priced grocery store and suddenly my idea of light, juicy flavours became one of robust, mellow and savoury ingredients. Pears, squash, yam, dark greens and grains but a little citrus to brighten it up and maybe some sesame to lend it an earthiness. Although sesame is often associated with Asian flavours I think it syncs well with orange veggies and starchy foods too. We have had an amazing August and September here in Vancity with lovely sunny weather almost every day. With risk of setting off the rain gods, I have to say that it hasn’t rained in almost three weeks! That being said, I was getting a little tired of wearing shorts and skirts with bare legs every day. I was able to snug out in my new soft hoodie and jeans on my shopping trip and had a nice walk to boot.
I ended up grabbing some yams, garlic, spinach, quinoa, oranges and dried pears. Hopefully you will like the results. There are a few more steps than your average salad but I think it will be worth it.
Hearty Yam, Spnach and Quinoa Salad with Sesame Orange Dressing
Yield : 4 servings
Step 1 the yams
2 yams or 1 thanksgiving size big one, peeled, cut in to med chunks
2 oranges (just 1/4 for this step) 1/4 juiced
1 T orange zest
1 T sesame oil
1 T sesame seeds
salt and pepper
-preheat oven to 375
-toss ingredients together, lay in single layer on baking sheet
-bake 35 min
-small dice when cool
-this can be done the day before if you want just bring back to almost room temp when tossing the salad
Step 2 : the dressing
1 1/2 oranges, juiced
2 T sesame oil
1 t sesame seeds, toasted
1 t sugar
1 T orange zest, minced
1-2 dashes hot sauce
-whisk ingredients together
Step 3: the salad
1 C cooked quinoa
2-3 C washed spinach, cut if leaves are large
4 slices dried pear, fine diced
-combine with dressing, toss and serve!