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Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010 06:02 am

Spinach Salad with Oranges, Tasso Ham, and Spicy Caramelized Pecans

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I found this salad dressing in an old cookbook of Louisiana plantations’ recipes. Blood oranges are in season and available locally; they make an especially attractive presentation. Any good Cajun spice mixture will work for the pecans, but for a locally made version, try Souileau’s. (For more about Souileau’s, see my 10/29/09 column at IT’s Web site.)

  • Baby spinach, 1 handful per person
  • 2 oranges, peel removed and cut into slices
  • 3/4 c. diced Tasso ham, or substitute pepperoni, or spicy salami
  • 3/4 c. spicy caramelized pecans – recipe follows
  • Creole dressing:
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 5 T. red wine vinegar   
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 T. sour cream
  • 1 T. chopped parsley, preferably flat-leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Toss spinach with just enough Creole dressing to lightly coat the greens. Spread onto a large platter and garnish with oranges and ham. Sprinkle pecans over the top and serve. To serve 6

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