Recipe A Day #16: Warm Asian-Style Sesame Spinach Salad

This catchy little spinach salad comes, once again, inspired by and adapted from the always reliable Moosewood Cooks at Home. It's easy to prepare, not too expensive, and it makes for a fancy and healthy side dish.

Plus, as a bonus with today's recipe, you'll get an easy-to-make homemade salad dressing that beats anything you can buy in the store. Enjoy!

Warm Asian-Style Sesame Spinach Salad

20 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sherry
1 Tablespoon plain white vinegar
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar (to taste)
1 generous teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1) Toast the sesame seeds by placing them in a flat oven-safe pan or a baking sheet for 5 minutes in a 350F oven. Remove and let cool.

2) Make the marinade: Combine marinade ingredients in a small pan and bring to a boil on your stove. Remove from heat and let cool.

3) Take still-wet rinsed spinach and saute very briefly in a non-stick pan (without any oil, just with the moisture on the freshly rinsed leaves!), until wilted but not fully cooked. Remove spinach from heat, toss with marinade and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Serves 3.
Recipe notes:
1) Marinade! Okay, the recipe as stated above makes about the right amount of dressing for the dish, and only the dish. But if you'd like, you can scale up this marinade and have extra handy for the future. It really makes a great salad dressing, and you can keep it chilled in your fridge for months.

Asian-Style Salad Dressing

½ cup soy sauce
½ cup sherry
¼ plain white vinegar
2-3 Tablespoons brown sugar, to taste
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced

1) Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Taste and adjust brown sugar for desired sweetness, then bring to a boil on the stove. Remove from heat, cool and store in a sealed jar or container in your refrigerator. Makes about 10 ounces.

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