Strawberry Spinach Salad with Cougar Gold

from WSU Creamery


For the dressing:

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

⅓ cup olive oil

⅓ cup red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons minced green onion

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


For the salad:

1 to 1½ pounds fresh spinach

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

1 cup crumbled Cougar Gold®


Make the dressing: In small skillet over medium heat, stir sesame seeds until golden brown; set aside. Whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the salad: Wash spinach thoroughly, dry and tear into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, combine spinach, strawberries, and cheese. To serve: Pour dressing over salad and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Spinach and Beet Salad with Vinaigrette

from nutritionist Lisa Grentz

Nutritionist Lisa Grentz modeled this salad after one of her favorite offerings at the Spokane-based, family-owned chain Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar. She paired it with a dressing recipe she adapted from Betty Crocker.

For the salad:

6 ounces spinach leaves

2 medium beets

2 green apples

1 cup Gorgonzola cheese


For the vinaigrette:

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 large clove of garlic


Make the salad: Boil beets with the peel on for 30 to 40 minutes, until tender. Allow beets to cool for a few minutes to allow the skin to release before peeling.

Wash spinach leaves and pat dry. Place spinach in a large serving bowl. Dice apples and beets and add to bowl of spinach. Mix in Gorgonzola cheese.

Make the vinaigrette: Place all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a medium-sized Mason jar. Cap the jar and shake well.

Assemble the salad: Toss salad with vinaigrette just before serving.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Simple Sautéed Spinach

from WSU Executive Chef Jamie Callison

WSU Executive Chef Jamie Callison learned as a young cook that spinach shouldn’t be an afterthought.

“So many cooks just boil or sauté spinach without building flavor during the process,” he said. Instead, “Seasonings should be added during the cooking process, not just mixed in at the end. This simple sautéed spinach is a perfect example.”

This recipe is flavorful enough to stand alone. Or, it can be used to help highlight other menu items. Use simple sautéed spinach as a bed of greens for chicken, fish, pork or steak.

“If you add olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper during the beginning of the cooking and then finish with fresh lemon juice, all flavors become one,” Callison said. “Add a little cream or bacon for richness, and a star is born.”

1 tablespoon shaved garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound cleaned baby spinach leaves (Callison recommends Bloomsdale spinach)

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice


Sweat out garlic in olive oil, cooking on low heat without browning until garlic becomes translucent. Remove garlic from pan and set aside.

Add spinach, salt and freshly cracked pepper, and cook until spinach becomes translucent (about 1 minute on high heat). Add the cooked garlic.

Remove from heat and add lemon juice, and season with additional kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper as desired. Serve immediately.

Spinach and Gorgonzola stuffed Mushroom Caps

from WSU Executive Chef Jamie Callison

1 pound spinach leaves, washed and dried

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon shallots, minced

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

8 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

1 egg

½ cup panko
bread crumbs

1 tablespoon dry sherry

20 jumbo mushrooms

½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shredded

½ cup white wine

Sauté spinach in oil with kosher salt and pepper just until spinach turns translucent. (This might need to be done in batches). Let cool, squeeze out excess water, then chop spinach.

Sweat out shallots, garlic and thyme in some of the oil, cooking on low heat until ingredients become fully cooked without browning.

Crumble Gorgonzola, add the rest of ingredients except for the mushrooms, and mix until smooth and everything is incorporated.

Wash and hollow out mushrooms by pulling out the stem. If stem breaks off inside, you might need to use a melon baller to remove the rest of the stem.

Fill mushrooms and top with Parmigiano Reggiano. Put in casserole pan and add wine to pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are fully cooked. If the tops are not golden brown, broil until brown.

Let rest for about 5 minutes and serve.

Yield: 24 pieces or 12 servings

Note: A 24-ounce package of jumbo mushrooms is equal to about 20 mushrooms. You can also stuff smaller crimini mushrooms or larger portabella mushrooms. The yields will vary depending on the type of mushroom and the fact that mushrooms are inconsistent in size.

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