Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spinach, Orange & Goat Cheese Salad

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This week, at I Heart Cooking Clubs, we're getting cheesy - cooking up Nigel Slater dishes that feature cheese as an ingredient.

After last week's Gnocchi with Chorizo, Gorgonzola & Spinach, which really knocked it out of the ball-park for full-on creamy, cheesy indulgence, I thought I would bring you something a little lighter this week.  Nigel's spinach, orange and feta salad from "Tender, Vol. I, A cook and his vegetable patch" seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Of this dish, Nigel says, "A favourite salad of mine is one where the spinach leaves are matched with oranges and feta.  Lush, salty, refreshing, I use it to lift the spirits."  And he's right.  It is all of those things, and the "sunny" burst of tangy orange slices amongst the velvety spinach leaves, spiked with sharp, salty goats' feta, cannot fail to be uplifting on a gloomy late autumn day.

This salad of course would make a great side to just about anything you can think of, but it can just as easily make a meal on its own.  You can easily "trick it up" with a few add-ins to make it a little more substantial if you like.  Nigel suggests toasting some torn up bread or a few sprouted seeds as possible additions.  Since I happened to have some beautiful fresh beetroot from a friend's garden on hand, I chose to add some roasted beetroot along with some toasted walnuts. Satsuma mandarins are also available here in abundance right now, so I included some mandarin segments as well.   Some black olives would also be a nice addition I think, and you could of course swap the goat cheese for some other cheese such as a gorgonzola or other blue cheese.

This recipe is more of a guideline than anything too specific.  It is infinitely variable, and you really don't need to be too fussy with quantities.  I do hope you try it.  This is really perfect for a simple lunch, and I will definitely be making it again.

Spinach, Orange & Goat Cheese Salad 2.jpg

Spinach, Orange & Goat Cheese Salad Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Nigel Slater
from Tender, Vol. I
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

For each person you will need:
1x medium-sized beetroot
olive oil
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2x generous handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1x medium-sized orange
1x mandarin
1x handful of crumbled goat cheese
1x handful walnuts, toasted
walnut oil
red wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F).

Wash and dry beetroot, and cut into wedges.  Place beetroot wedges on a large piece of tinfoil, drizzle liberally with olive oil, season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Close up tinfoil, place package in a shallow baking dish, and roast in the preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes or until beetroot are tender.  Remove from oven and leave to cool.

Remove skin and all white pith from the orange and cut crosswise into slices.  Work over a bowl or a plate to catch as much of the juices as you can.  Remove all skin and pith from the mandarin, and divide into segments.

Arrange spinach leaves on a serving platter.  Tuck orange slices, mandarin segments and beetroot wedges in amongst the leaves.  Sprinkle goat cheese over the top.

Make a dressing by mixing together the reserved citrus juice with walnut oil, in approximately equal parts.  If you don't have much juice from the oranges, top up the "acidity ratio" with a little red wine vinegar.  Season with freshly ground black pepper, and drizzle over the salad.

Top with a sprinkling of toasted walnuts and serve immediately.

If you would like to get to know Nigel Slater a little better, and to see all the other cheesy dishes that are on the menu this week, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links ...


... or check out Tender, Vol. 1 and Nigel's many other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, or Fishpond NZ.

I'll also be sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the delightful Michelle at Ms. enPlace, at Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays hosted by my lovely friend Deb at Kahakai Kitchen, at Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads, at Foodie Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollum, and at Cook Your Books hosted by the lovely Joyce at Kitchen Flavours.

See Ya in The Gumbo Badge    Souper Sundays Badge    Weekend Cooking Badge    Foodie Friday Badge    Cook Your Books Badge


49 comments:

  1. Cheesy is good :-)) This looks drool-worthy!

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    1. Thanks, Angie - I'm always looking for a good excuse to include cheese in just about anything :-)

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  2. I **love** the look of this salad! I make an orange and bib lettuce salad (one of my favorite salads) that is similar to this. Now I must try Slater's version.

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    1. Thanks, Beth. I need to try orange and bib lettuce together :-)

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  3. All my fav foods in one dish <3 ....and goshh goat cheese is the best :)

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    1. Thanks, Janneke. It is a lovely combo of ingredients, and I'm pleased you're a goat cheese lover - I know that it's not everyone's cup of tea.

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  4. Great flavours in this chill plate! I love beets and citrus together!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. I love beets and citrus together too - as soon as I saw this recipe I knew that I had to include beetroot.

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  5. This is one of my favorite salads to make - although with a sheep's cheese substitution. Yum!

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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    1. Thanks, Tanya. I can understand wanting to use sheep's milk cheese - I know that goat cheese is not to everyone's liking. Thanks for visiting - I hope you'll stop by again.

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  6. This is my kind of salad! I make a similar one that uses candied pecans, but plan to try this version soon.

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    1. JoAnn, I think candied pecans would be a delicious inclusion in this salad - they would work perfectly.

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  7. The salad looks beautiful and sounds yummy. Will have to try it! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jama, and thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Goat cheese is a newfound passion of mine! Your salad looks delicious, but I will be leaving out the beets when I make it for myself!

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    1. Thanks, Laurie. I'm pleased you've discovered goat cheese - I love it. Shame you're not so keen on beetroot, but this salad would still be great without it.

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  9. This looks delicious and I love the addition of the beets!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah, and thanks for stopping by :-)

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  10. I know I would love this salad!

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    1. Pam, I know you would too - this is right up your alley :-)

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  11. Beets with orange is a perfect combination. The goat cheese can only make it better.

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    1. Thanks, Janel - I think orange and beetroot is a stellar combination too, and the goat cheese definitely doesn't hurt :-)

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  12. This is so bright and colorful and of course the goat cheese feta pulls me in. I like your addition of the mandarin slices, beets and walnuts too. I could happily make a meal of it.

    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week too. ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Deb. This is exactly the kind of thing I know you would enjoy for a meal - though I know how much you also love salmon and a piece of that on the side would be great if you wanted to stretch it a little further.

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    1. Thanks, Terry and thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment :-)

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  14. Yum. This could be lunch all week long for me.

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    1. Thanks so much. I had this for dinner, but it would definitely be perfect for lunch, whether that be on your own or with company.

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  15. What a wonderful salad. It hits all the tastebuds.

    Madonna
    MakeMineLemon

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    1. Thanks, Madonna, and thanks for coming by again :-)

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  16. Replies
    1. Thanks, Ulrike - I do have a weakness for that goat cheese :-)

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  17. Hi Sue,
    A beautiful salad! I like the mixture of ingredients! This is the kind of salad that is not only great as a side, but also perfect as a light meal ! Delicious and healthy too! Lovely choice for a cheezy dish!

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    1. Thanks, Joyce. I really enjoyed the combination of ingredients, and although I ate it as a meal on its own it would certainly be a delicious side, especially with something like a nice piece of salmon or even some spicy, barbequed sausages.

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  18. I'd definitely make a meal of this salad. Love the combination of beets with orange.

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    1. Thanks, Zosia - beetroot and orange is a pretty winning combo, isn't it :-)

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  19. Love, love this salad...I want some right now:) The combination of beets and goat cheese with the orange sounds fabulous. I love that you mentioned these ingredients are more of a guideline. Isn't that so true with many recipes? I think that is one beautiful thing about sharing with others. But, I would like this salad just the way you have it here. lovely. pinned to try. Have a great week.

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    1. Thank you, Rachel, and I do hope you enjoy this salad when you try it. I think you are so right - to me that is exactly what reading cookbooks and sharing recipes is all about - taking inspiration from those sources, and then turning them into something that is your own.

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  20. Goat cheese sounds like a great healthy way to add protein to a salad.

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    1. Thanks, Lilith - I love to use cheese (or sometimes eggs) as a way of adding protein to a salad, which means that I can then make a complete meal of it.

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  21. Well, you know I like this b/c of the spinach. I also like a good spinach and citrus salad. This is beautiful, Sue!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. I do know how much you love spinach, and I can never use it now without thinking of you :-) I'm sure you would really enjoy this salad.

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    2. This makes me smile. I have no problem being known as the spinach girl.

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  22. What a wonderful colorful salad.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret, and thanks for your visit :-)

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  23. I full-on refuse to eat cheese-less salads so I can't wait to try this!

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  24. What a gorgeous looking salad, I just love Nigel Slater's cookbooks and recipes.

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    1. Thanks, Cheri - I'm really enjoying Nigel Slater's cookbooks too - not just for the recipes, but just as much for his fabulous writing.

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