Sunday, August 31, 2014

Meatless Monday: Last Days of Summer Salad

With Meatless Monday falling on Labor Day, the traditional end to the American summer season, I thought I’d share a recipe for a salad that would make a perfect addition to your holiday picnic or cookout.

The recipe comes via my cousin Kate who lives in Denmark. Summer days in Denmark are long; festivities mark the longest day, Midsummer Eve, June 23. On that day, in Kate's town of Naerum, the sun rose at 4:28 am and set at 9:55 pm. On the flip side, winter nights are also long. Consequently, the Danes are serious about celebrating summer and its colorful seasonal foods.

Kate sent me a favorite recipe for a traditional Danish summer salad—simple, festive, and packed with nutrients. Here is her recipe:

Spinach Salad with Summer Berries and Pine Nuts

  • 1/3 lb. fresh spinach
  • 2 cups fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  •  1/2 cup pine nuts
  •  3 scallions

  •  1/3 cup olive oil
  •  2-3 Tbs. sherry or wine vinegar
  •  1 tsp. maple syrup
  •  salt and pepper to taste


  • Rinse and dry the spinach. Arrange on a plate or platter. Slice the strawberries in halves or quarters and arrange them over the spinach with the blueberries and raspberries. 
  • Roast the pine nuts on a dry pan until golden and let them cool. Finely chop the scallions.
  • Combine all the dressing ingredients and pour evenly over the salad. Add the pine nuts and chopped scallions on top.

I made my salad with native blueberries (whose season is about over) and strawberries (organic, on sale, but all the way from California). Next time around I hope to use raspberries from Bishop’s , a pick your own farm not far from here, where raspberries will soon be at their peak. 

Any berries will do, but fresh is best. 

Enjoy the tastes of summer while you can. 

Happy Monday. Happy Labor Day. Have a great week!

On Mondays I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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