Cherry and Spinach Salad with Walnuts and Gorgonzola
This flavorful spinach salad recipe incorporates gorgonzola, walnuts, and cherries for a full-on taste explosion. If you like highly flavored salads this one should really please your palate. The walnut oil works well in this spinach salad recipe but if yours is particularly strong, you can use half extra-virgin olive oil and half walnut oil instead. Use a good walnut oil in this salad dressing because you will be able to taste it.
Gorgonzola is a delicious creamy cheese but if you do not like it you can use goat’s cheese in this recipe in its place. It is believed that gorgonzola has been produced in a town bearing the same name as the cheese since 879 AD, although other locations dispute this claim. Gorgonzola has only had its green-blue marbling since the eleventh century. This cheese is mainly produced today in Lombardy and Piedmont, which are in the north of Italy. Whole cow’s milk is combined with starter bacteria and the same penicillin mold used to make Roquefort cheese. During curdling the whey is taken out and the cheese is then aged at a low temperature.
Metal rods are inserted and taken out during the aging process; this creates air channels where the mold spores can grow. This cheese is usually aged for about fourteen weeks and it gets firmer as it ripens. If gorgonzola is made with goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk, it is salty and firm. This cheese is wonderful melted into a risotto just before the end of the cooking time. It is also nice served with pasta or alongside polenta. It is also good on a four-cheese pizza, along with other soft cheeses and, of course, gorgonzola is great when combined with walnuts and cherries and added to a spinach salad recipe.
- 10 oz baby spinach leaves
- ⅓ cup gorgonzola cheese
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- ¼ cup pitted fresh sweet cherries
- ⅓ cup walnut oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 1 ¼ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Black pepper, to taste
- Wash the spinach leaves and shake off the excess water.
- Combine the red onion, vinegar, salt, pepper, and mustard.
- Whisk the oil in gradually, to make a thick dressing.
- Put most of the spinach in a bowl and toss it with most of the dressing.
- Add the rest of the spinach and keep tossing until well-coated.
- Add the cheese, walnuts, and cherries and drizzle the remaining dressing on top.
This salad blends various flavors and textures and the result is rather special. The sweetness of the cherries, crunchiness of the walnuts, freshness of the spinach and cream tang of the gorgonzola all blend together amazingly to produce a gourmet spinach salad recipe. The dressing is really flavorful and the walnut gives it an elegant flavor. If you want to impress your dinner guests you might want to make this spinach salad recipe and serve it as an appetizer or as a side dish alongside poached chicken or roasted duck. This is a very exciting spinach salad and you will love the way the flavors blend so nicely.
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