We eat a lot of salads around here, so when I discovered this recipe as I was flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks, I knew it would be a great addition to our weekly menus. It's super easy to put together and has been a big hit with our friends and family.
1 package ramen noodles, crushed, flavor packet discarded
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and dried
1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
1 pint strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, mix the ramen noodles, sunflower seeds, almonds and melted butter. Transfer to a baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Tear the lettuce and combine with the spinach, strawberries and Parmesan cheese in a large salad bowl.
Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Combine the garlic, salt, paprika and oil. Add to the sugar-vinegar mixture. Mix well and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Just before serving, sprinkle the crunchy topping over the salad greens and toss the salad with enough dressing to coat the greens.
Serves 4 to 6
My Notes: Any lettuce combination will work and 1-2 tablespoons of poppy seeds make a nice addition to the dressing. I've also included sliced cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes and avocados in the salad. Add some chunks of roast chicken and you've got a meal. Oh, and there's plenty of crunchy topping for a couple of large salads (as long as you hide it from your family!).
I'm trying to convince myself that the healthy nuts, spinach and berries outweigh the unhealthy butter, oil and sugar. So far, that's working. ;)
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