National Spinach Day and the 6th Friday of Lent

Today marks the sixth and final “ordinary” Friday of Lent. Sunday will mark the observation of Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week, with Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.

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Spinach and Green Apple Matchstick Salad

Spinach Day is observed on March 26th each year. Popeye must be thrilled! Spinach is one of the best sources of iron, and is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants. Research shows that spinach improves your cardiovascular health. Did you know that during her reign as queen of France, Catherine de Medici loved spinach so much that it was served at every meal. And have you noticed that dishes made with spinach are often called “Florentine” reflecting Catherine’s birthplace, Florence. Hum, I never knew the reason behind so many dishes bearing the name Florentine. Makes sense.

The world’s largest producers of spinach are the farmers of China, followed by the United States. No surprise that California is one of the top producing states in the country.

I adore spinach in just about everything. This spinach salad is so basic, so simple yet so delicious. Since our first recipe of the day was for a diabetic-healthily fish, I thought we’d just keep on trucking on this good-for-you delicious kick.

Spinach and Green Apple Matchstick Salad
1/3 cup Walnut Piece
1 Granny Smith apple
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 oz Baby Spinach Leaves (about 5 cups lightly packed)

To Toast Walnuts:
Place walnut pieces in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool before using.

To Toss the Spinach Salad:
Core the apple and slice it into match sticks. Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the spinach with the dressing until evenly coated then divide the spinach among 4 serving plates.

Sprinkle a quarter of the apple pieces on top of each salad. Follow with the walnut pieces.

Serve immediately.