Putting together a quick meal with whatever is in the fridge doesn't have to be a challenge, provided that you allow a bit of creativity into the process. Main-dish salads can solve the last-minute planning problem, especially if you let your imagination come up with an interesting salad dressing. We did just that for a Saturday-afternoon lunch, combining fresh spinach leaves, strawberries left over from breakfast, sliced button mushrooms and walnut halves with sliced smoked turkey from a deli package. For the dressing, we added fresh mint purchased for dressing up iced tea and a few dashes of favorite condiments to top off the bowl.
-- June Naylor,
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Spinach salad with turkey, strawberry and mint
9-ounce package baby spinach leaves
12 slices smoked deli turkey, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 to 11/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 to 11/2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 cup walnut halves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
4 to 5 mint leaves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 mint sprigs for garnish
1. In a large salad bowl, toss spinach, turkey, strawberries, mushrooms and walnut halves.
2. In a smaller bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, garlic, honey or agave nectar, minced mint leaves and salt and pepper to taste, whisking well to combine.
3. Pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Transfer salad to four serving bowls and garnish each with a mint sprig to serve.