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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spinach Strawberry Salad and Sweetheart Rolls

So I'm clearly just starting to get my act back together from the holidays.  I intended for this post to arrive before Valentine's Day, since it would make such a perfect Valentine lunch.  But I'm a little (or a lot) late.  Aside from a Valentine treat, it would also be a delightful anniversary treat or even a great "I-love-my-girlfriends!" brunch dish.  The salad provides a nice contrast on the plate between the green spinach leaves and the bright strawberries.  It's sweet and tangy, with a bit of crunch.
The best part of this salad is the dressing, though.  (Isn't that always the case?)  Here are the ingredients needed.  I'll list the recipe at the end of the post.

Combine all dressing ingredients and mix or shake well.  Reserve until right before serving, and then drizzle over the salad and toss to mix.  Avoid over-saturating; a little flavor goes a long way.

The heart-shaped rolls aren't really a recipe, but just a "twist" (ha ha!) on a family favorite.  I usually tie these up into "Cheesy Knots."
Separate the breadstick dough and roll into long snakes.  Shape into hearts on a baking sheet.  Melt 1/4 c. butter and mix in enough dry Parmesan cheese to make a thin paste.  The example in my picture is actually thicker than I usually make.  Brush the cheese mixture over the rolls. 
I usually sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan liberally over the tops before baking for extra cheesy crunch.  Bake at 350 until golden brown.  In my convection oven it usually only takes about 10 minutes or so.

Spinach Strawberry Salad
1 pkg pre-washed baby spinach leaves, torn
1 pint strawberries, quartered
1/4 c. slivered almonds

1/3 c. canola oil
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. minced red onion
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce