A couple of days ago, my blogging friend LizzyDo and I traded lists of the recipes we use from the two Indianapolis Junior League cookbooks. I've found that the Junior League cookbooks are consistently good. They're not full of the cream of mushroom soup recipes like a lot of the local cookbooks. I prefer the most recent version - Back Home Again - while Liz prefers the older version - Winners.
Since we weren't able to go south this weekend, the kids came up from Cincinnati for a visit. They'd planned on driving over to the B&B for a day visit until I started coughing and hacking and we decided the smart thing was for us to stay home. This way, they can spend the night - weather permitting. For lunch, I'd planned on having soup and a spinach salad with salmon on top. I made my favorite marmalade smoked salmon a couple of days ago and we had it for dinner. Devoured it for dinner is probably a better description :-) I wrapped up the leftovers and told Connie it was ready to go to the basement fridge. Well, he got all wrapped up in the Colts game and forgot. I found it when I got up the next morning. What a depressing feeling to feed this lovely salmon to the garbage disposal. On to plan B for the kids visit. I'd just gone through Winners and marked all of Liz's recommended recipes and remembered a salad that sounded really good. Eastwood Spinach Salad. Named after Eastwood Jr. High School would be my guess. Some really creative naming of the junior high schools in this neck of the woods: Westlane, Northview and Eastwood. They feed into North Central - my alma mater.
Almost all the ingredients were in the pantry or fridge so this was easy to whip up. I didn't have cashews or peanuts here so substituted toasted sliced almonds. I used only spinach instead of a mix of spinach and lettuce mostly because it's healthier. And, Liz said she doesn't put the chunks of Swiss cheese in but uses other kinds instead. I used a Mexican blend that was on top in the cheese drawer.
What did we think? Well, half of us had seconds it was that good. This won't surpass Casa d'Angelo Salad as our favorite but it'll be a regular.
Eastwood Spinach Salad
for the salad:
1 pound fresh spinach
1 medium head lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 16 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup peanuts, cashews or sliced almonds
1 8 1/2 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8 oz can pitted ripe olives, sliced
1/4 - 1/2 lb your choice cheese, grated or cubed
2 green onions, chopped
for the dressing:
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 t dry mustard
1 t salt
freshly ground pepper
1/3 c red wine vinegar
1 c olive oil
1 T celery seed
1 T grated onion
Toss the salad ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Blend the dressing ingredients in a blender. Toss the salad with enough dressing to coat.
adapted from Winners