Do you remember when I told you about the time Nick and I had an argument about stuffing chicken breasts with bananas and covering them in bacon, after tucking them into a bed of corn and white beans? I was skeptical. But it turned out to be pretty awesome. Since then I’ve been more open to flavor combinations that seem a little unusual.
And I can honestly say that I never would have considered pairing spinach with basil or plums, let alone combining all three together. But it kinda made sense to me: I’ve had spinach salads with strawberries and I love strawberries and basil together (especially with some balsamic vinegar). And plums are kind of similar to strawberries… right?
Perhaps that logic isn’t perfect, but that’s okay. Because this salad is good, even if it defies logic. The citrus-y dressing is super-light but incredibly flavorful. I might consider upping the plum quantity in the future- I had to cut the slices into small pieces in order to get some plum with each bite of spinach and basil. So, reflect on your personal preferences regarding greens-to-fruit ratios, and proceed accordingly.
The original recipe was supposed to yield 8 servings. I halved the recipe (and kind of skimped on the spinach) so it made a nice amount to split between two salad bowls- more than a first course salad, but not enough to be a complete dinner. (We supplemented with a modest amount of brown rice and sautéed mushrooms.)
Spinach, Basil, and Plum Salad (adapted from Food & Wine; 2-4 servings)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange juice
½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp grated lime zest
½ tsp grated orange zest
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces baby spinach
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1 red or black plum, pitted and sliced
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, lime zest, and orange zest. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine spinach, basil, and plums. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
(Don’t you love recipes that can be completed in five sentences?)