Posted by: Erin | September 3, 2008

Baby Spinach with Orange, Fresh Mozzarella, and Marinated Beef

Another night, another salad.

Last night’s salad consisted of baby spinach (sadly, not organic, as I caught my grocery store as they were restocking the produce section) with orange segments, fresh mozzarella, and strips of marinated beef. I had some fresh mozzarella left from the pizza experiments (will post about the second one soon), and I originally intended to make a recipe from the Sorrento Cheese website – Fresh Mozzarella Mixed Baby Greens and Roasted Almonds in Orange Vinaigrette. I modified this instead, since I’m never sure how long I can keep that dressing in the fridge, and I’m not sure if the red wine vinegar from last time is still good.

Generally, I don’t put dressings on my salad – if there’s cheese on it, that sorta takes dressing’s place for me – so that wasn’t a big deal. I bought some thin-sliced beef and marinated it in Newman’s Own Herb & Roasted Garlic 30-Minute Marinade. I’d intended to use a Lawry’s 30-minute marinade that I’ve used before, but, well, the Newman’s Own stuff was on sale, and, good though the Lawry’s marinades are, the Newman’s Own didn’t list “high fructose corn syrup” as the second ingredient. I’m not sure which marinade I’d intended to use – my two favorites of the Lawry’s are the Havana Garlic and Lime and the Herb and Garlic ones – in my head, one of them had citrus notes. (All right, I know – technically both of them do, but I had this memory of one having an orange-y citrus taste to it. No, I don’t know why I thought that either.) For some reason, I decided a garlic and herb mix was right, so I picked up the Newman’s Own, and off I went.

The marinade itself was very good. I think it would taste better on a thicker cut of beef, so there’s more to absorb the taste, along with a juicier texture in the meat. I picked the thin-sliced beef because I was putting it on salad, but even without burning it, it still ended up a little overcooked, so the tougher texture didn’t do the marinade justice. Unfortunately, my instinct of putting a garlic and herb mix together with orange segments was not so good. The marinated beef with the baby spinach and fresh mozzarella was a great combination of tastes, but the beef with orange didn’t go well. It wasn’t bad (and it was certainly edible), they just didn’t compliment each other quite the way I’d hoped for.

All in all, a good salad, but I wouldn’t put the orange in next time. Before I tasted it, I thought the salad was missing something. Perhaps almonds, but I have a feeling that would have been in the same vein as the orange – good idea, but not so good in practice. Any suggestions on what I could add to the spinach, mozzarella and beef to round out this salad?

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