Spinach Kiwi Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing
A short while ago I was asked to participate in a Progressive Party over at Kitchen PLAY for the month of June. Who wouldn't want to wear their hostess hat and contribute to a blow out affair with 5 other talented food bloggers each assigned wildly different courses. We were all challenged to create one of 6 courses incorporating kiwifruit from ZESPRI®.
This month my assignment was to bring you a delicious salad course for this culinary challenge sponsored by ZESPRI® Kiwifruit. First grown in China and a nutritional powerhouse, the furry little kiwifruit is full of surprises!! When I was a little girl growing up in Southern Ontario kiwifruit were considered an exotic specialty. My mom would cut one in half and with spoon in hand I would consume several of these tropical jewels in one sitting. Kiwi fruit has always been immensely popular especially during the past two decades, and deservedly so!!!
On the outside, a kiwi fruit is a brown oval-shaped fruit which is covered with a downy fuzz. When you cut, or bite, through its thin brown skin you reach velvety, semi-translucent, emerald green flesh dotted with a ring of tiny, edible black seeds. The taste of kiwi fruit, varies from sweet to tart, with an invigorating taste reminiscent of a combination of other fruits, such as strawberries, nectarines, and melons yet with its own unique sweet flavour. Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright green flesh of the kiwifruit adds a dramatic tropical flair to any salad.
Prized for its tangy flavour and emerald-green flesh, kiwifruit makes a wonderful addition to any salad. Here I paired it with a citrusy poppy seed dressing, spiced almonds and raspberries for colour contrast. To peel your kiwi fruit it is easier to first cut off the ends with a sharp knife and peel with a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife. To eat the fruit with a spoon, cut it in half crosswise or lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. If the peachlike fuzz is rubbed off, the fruit can be eaten skin and all!
ZESPRI® GREEN and GOLD Kiwifruit are lovely additions to many recipes that call for fresh fruit. But did you know that they also work well in spicy salsas, tropical drinks and even in marinades? At a time when environmental awareness is at the forefront of global consciousness, we can also take comfort that ZESPRI® Kiwifruit growers make environmental protection a priority. Isolated and pristine, with fertile volcanic soil and artesian irrigation water from the country's mountain ranges, it is no wonder that New Zealand grows some of the best kiwifruit in the world.
Head on over to Kitchen PLAY and see what cocktail, amuse bouche, salad, appetizer/soup, entrée (main course) and dessert each of this months participants have come up with. Each month Kitchen Play also features a contest to involve as many additional bloggers as possible. Visit the Contest page at Kitchen PLAY for more details on how you could win $100 for trying this recipe and posting about it.
**Spinach Kiwi Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing**
- 1 package prewashed baby spinach
- 2 - 3 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
- 1 250 g container fresh raspberries
- Spicy sugared almonds (see recipe below)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon shallots, finely chopped
- 85ml (⅓ cup) cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1½ tablespoons poppy seed
- 250ml (1 cup) canola oil
In a large bowl toss baby spinach, kiwifruit and raspberries. Add enough dressing to lightly coat spinach salad. Sprinkle with Sugared Almonds and serve immediately.
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2-4 tablespoons sugar
- dash of cayenne pepper to taste
- dash of salt
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