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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Seared Albacore Spinach Salad with Rosemary

My dear friend, Valori made this salad, which she describes as being "packed full of fresh flavors just waiting to burst in your mouth! It is filling, visually pleasing, and above all healthy! Great for a late lunch or a light dinner".

Salads are a great way to explore flavor combinations, use up what you have in your fridge and cupboards and get a significant amount of healthy vegetables into your diet. Make sure that you wash all vegetables thoroughly because any pesticides, grit, dirt or residues could make the salad bitter and be harmful to your health. I try to buy organic vegetables whenever I can, but especially when it is for a salad or will otherwise be eaten raw.


* 1 cup olive oil
* 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
* 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced finely
* 3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
* Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together vinegar, garlic and grated cheese. Gradually add the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to let the flavors develop. You do not need to refrigerate the dressing while you prepare the salad because you want the oils to remain room temperature for the flavors to marry and avoid becoming thick.

Note: If you use a store-bought salad dressing instead, I would recommend avoiding fruit based or flavored ones because it will be too sweet for this kind of salad.


3 cups of fresh spinach
3 leaves of fresh romaine lettuce, ribs removed and leaves torn
1 fresh ripe avocado, diced with a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent browning
1/2 washed red bell pepper (optional); diced finely
6-8 fresh cherry tomatoes
1/2 ripe mango
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 Tbsp. sunflower seed oil
1/8 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
4 ounces of fresh albacore, sashimi grade, between 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
5 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe above)
2 Tbsp. slivered almonds, unsalted (optional)


* Thoroughly wash, rinse and dry the spinach and romaine lettuce.
* Slice the mango into thin slender slices about two inches long, squared ends, and about 1/4 of an inch thick.
* Drizzle a small puddle of the vinaigrette on the bottom of two deep plates.
* Place a big handful of the spinach and lettuce mix on top of the balsamic dressing.
* Sprinkle on the bell pepper and divide up the avocado slices and cherry tomatoes between the two plates. Line the edges of the side with the raspberries.
* Neatly place 5-6 slices of mango around salad poking outward like a porcupine.
* Rub 1 tsp. of the oil onto the outside of the fish, salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle on the fresh rosemary.
* In a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet on medium-high heat, heat oil and place fish on the skillet for about 15-30 seconds on each side. A nice hot pan will ensure that the fish is seared quickly without cooking it all the way through. Be careful not to overcook--you want the fish to be lightly cooked (white in appearance) about 3 millimeters on each side.
* Remove fish from heat, allow to cool slightly and slice into 1/4 inch pieces.
* Arrange slices of seared albacore in a fan-like design over the prepared salad.
* Drizzle on more balsamic vinaigrette if desired.
* Optional: garnish with slivered almonds.

Serving Suggestion: Serve salad with a glass of blush wine.

Thanks, Valori, for your recipe contribution! If anyone else is interested in doing a guest spotlight, feel free to contact me and provide a blurb, photo and instructions! :)

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