Skiers had cause to celebrate this past week in Los Alamos, as did those of us patrolling the produce section for the very earliest signs of spring: the light green asparagus with tightly closed tips, and an abundance of fresh berries from California. (Contrary indicators remain, of course—whoever is pressing “Ripe Now” stickers on the rock-hard avocados appears mistaken either about the meaning of the word “ripe” or the concept of “now.”)
But the strawberries! Enough to brighten a late-winter salad, and I was delighted to enjoy such a salad prepared by Robyn Schultz of Los Alamos. Robyn produced a recipe that I modified to reduce sugar and increase spice and onion. Although many spinach salads are laden with bacon or bacon dressing, the smoky flavors in the paprika and Worcestershire sauce and the crunch of the almonds meant that we didn’t miss the bacon at all. This salad is quick to prepare, nutritious and delectable.
In a jar or bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Shake or whisk until mixed, and chill for an hour.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach leaves, strawberries and almonds. Add the dressing and toss. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before serving. Serves 4.
Felicia Orth is a local home cook; she can be reached at email@example.com.