Baby Spinach & Carrot salad – the vinaigrette!

Yesterday I hinted on releasing my secret recipe designed to make the “Baby Spinach & Carrot” salad a superior culinary Zen Gourmand experience.
Take a deep breath because here it goes…

This is to make a salad for an enlightened couple (that’s 2 people resonating on the same page; adjust to suit actual number of gourmands):

We start by preparing my secret vinaigrette.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, saucier or other suitable vessel add:
2 tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 (preferably 2 or even more) cloves of Garlic, pressed (use a decent Garlic Press or chop really fine)
1 tbsp of Ketchup
1/2 tsp of Honey
1/2 tsp of Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp of fresh, carefully picked and chopped Thyme leaves (if available, otherwise use dried)
1/2 tsp of fresh, carefully picked and chopped Tarragon leaves (if available, otherwise use dried)
Whisk these ingredients together to make a homogenous vinaigrette.
Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Now on to the salad.

Gently scrub and peel 2 medium sized carrots.
Coarsely shred or grate these carrots.
Take 1 good handful of washed, dried and chilled baby spinach.
Artistically arrange the leaves on a plate.
Arrange half the grated/shredded carrots in the center of the spinach using up about 2/3rd’s of the available spinach-estate.
When I feel particularly in tune with the Universe, I arrange the spinach and the carrots in a Yin-Yang pattern – quite attractive too, actually.
Repeat to make 2 plates.

Serve with my secret vinaigrette on the side.
Offer fresh ground pepper.
Optionally, and only if you are within your prescribed weight range and free of any other contra-indications, offer to liberally grate some really tasty Parmigiano Reggiano on top of this creation.
It will double the benefits of the the iron and vitamins in this salad by sheer psychological subversion – trust me.


Baby Spinach & Carrot Salad

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Spinach & Carrot Salad vs. Dragon Fruit

I started to write about the “Spinach & Carrot Salad vs. Dragon Fruit” on
Unfortunately, all the batteries for my digital camera died on me and I wasn’t able to download the amazing pictures for my “Dragon Fruit” essay.
So please bear with me.
I will have them (the pictures) and the essay, on-line ASAMBAC (As Soon As My Batteries Are Charged).
At least, you can read up on the Spinach & Carrot Salad at


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Vin Santo & Pear Crostata

The Zen Gourmand’s Cooking Class & Wine Tasting this past Saturday was a tremendous success and great fun. Thanks to all who attended. Your attendance, participation, contribution and support made for a wonderful evening.
We started our with introductions, light snacks and drinks followed by an overview of the evenings program.
The first item on the program was a tasting of “20 BEES LATE HARVEST VIDAL VQA“.Dessert Wine Tasting Participants were handed out a tasting notes form allowing each to assess, judge and rate and comment on each of the 3 wines to be tasted this evening.
This tasting was followed by the evenings “cooking class” during which the Zen Gourmand demonstrated the preparation of a delicious Italian pear crostata, the recipe for which can be downloaded in 2 versions.
Click here for the metric measures version.
Click here for the imperial measures version.
While the crostata was baking in the oven, we proceeded to the 2nd tasting of the evening. The wine selected for this tasting was the 2001 “POMINO VIN SANTO” from the FRESCOBALDI estates in Tuscany. This very lovely dessert wine, somewhat reminiscent of fine ports, was enjoyed by all and ultimately declared the favorite of the 3 wines tasted.
Pear CrostataWith the crostata finished and ready to sample, the 3rd wine of the evening made its appearance to be tasted alongside a slice of crostata. The wine selected for this tasting was a fine 2001 “TOKAJI ASZU 4 PUTTONYOS” (DISZNOKO estates). It was generally felt that the Vin Santo would have made a better companion for the Pear Crostata.

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