My father is a steak and three veg kind of guy. So when I served him this funky Salanova and Spinach Salad, I wasn’t too sure how it would go down. He didn’t complain, which for dad means it gets the thumbs up.
I think the reason why this salad is such a hit is that it has so many different “tastes”, from the salty bacon to the sweetness of the capsicum to the raw fresh flavour of the spinach. It’s been a work in progress for about seven years, as every time I make it I’ve tried adding something different. Finally, though I think it is just about perfect.
I use the pine nut and sunflower seed mix because I’ve found that packets of straight pine nuts can be very expensive. For those on a budget this is a great way to give that crunchy, savoury, effect, without the cost. You can get the mix from health food stores, or in your local supermarket. I prefer the salad with feta, but my husband and daughter prefer tasty, so I usually add the cheese once it has been served into bowls.
It’s a salad I eat mostly in summer, but occasionally I crave it in the middle of winter as well. In the cooler months I often add some warm potato or chicken and it makes for some delicious, but healthy, comfort food.
Cut core out of lettuce. Add lettuce leaves, spinach and rocket to colander – rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. Add sliced capsicum, tomato and cucumber chunks and toss.
Heat a little oil in a saucepan, add bacon, brown lightly then add pine nuts and sunflower seed mix, stir until lightly roasted .
Take off heat, allow to cool.
Serve salad mix onto individual plates, sprinkle bacon and nut mix over salad, add cheese over the top with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.
Variation: Add hot shredded chicken and diced potatoes for a warm salad.
Tips from the author
Serves four on a big plate to share.