Updated: Jun 23, 2021
I love a good salad, and this salad hit the spot during these hat days. It is super healthy and quite easy to make .
I was initially intrigued by the spinach cake. The salad with all the fresh herbs makes the cakes pop with fresh flavors. The recipe may look long but it is quite easy. The spinach cakes can be also enjoyed by itself, as an appetizer, hors d'oeuvres, or just as a healthy snack. They are herby with that touch of salt from the cheese. The greens are fresh and the mix of herbs and vinaigrette brighten the dish. This cookbook is from David Tanis, one of my favorite chefs, is spectacular. Filled with tons of recipes from across the globe, sorted by country, this cookbook brings to your table fresh and healthy flavors and dishes. Davis Tanis' depth of knowledge on ingredients, food and cuisines is amazing.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
For the spinach cakes:
1 1/2 lb spinach, washed throughly and tough stems removed
2 medium leeks, halved, washed to remove all grit, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
A pinch of chili or cayenne powder
A little Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated
For the Herb salad:
8 handfuls of mixed greens, red and green lettuce, iceberg lettuce, arugula, or other
1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs, mint, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, celery leaves or other
1 shallot, finely diced
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
To make the spinach cake:
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Heat a large pan on a medium-low flame and melt the butter. Sauté the leeks with pepper and salt till they are soft, but not colored, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the spinach in batches, shaking off as much water as possible. Sauté till they are wilted and a bright green, do not overcook, they will turn a dull green and be unappetizing. Take off the heat and cool.
Mix in the milk, eggs, nutmeg, and chili/cayenne powder and blend using a hand blender (or regular blender) to a smooth purée.
Pour the purée into a muffin tray (or mini muffin tray) and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Bake for 30 minutes for muffins and 15-17 minutes for mini muffins. Remove and cool.
To make the salad:
Mix the shallot, lemon/lime juice, salt, pepper and olive oil. Set aside. To serve:
Place the spinach cakes in the center of a bowl, either an individual size serving or larger group bowl, Toss the greens and herbs with some of the dressing, and surround with the cakes. Drizzle some of the dressing over the leaves and cakes and serve immediately.
Note: You cannot dress the greens too early, there is lime/lemon in the dressing and it will cause the greens and herbs to wilt.