Spinach Sesame Salad

5-minute Japanese style salad.  Healthy and very tasty.

INGREDIENTS 

2 bunches of spinach
1 tsp salt
water

Salad dressing:
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp mirin 
1 tbsp rice vinegar 
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil


PREPARATION
  
Wash the spinach -DO NOT CUT ANYTHING YET!
Add 1 tsp salt to boiling water.  Cook the spinach for 2 minutes.

Prepare salad dressing (while cooking the spinach): 
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Reserve.

Turn off heat and strain spinach.  Rinse with cold water.
Squeeze gently with your hands, not too much.
Cut off the stem ends (1/2 inch).
Form a "ball" with the spinach and cut in 2-inch-long pieces.

Add salad dressing.  Mix well.
Enjoy!

VARIATION: Add tofu cubes to this salad... it's delicious!

Gazpacho


Gazpacho andaluz.  The real deal: my grandma's recipe.


INGREDIENTS 

5 large red, ripe tomatos (or 8-9 medium sized tomatoes)*
1/2 cucumber (mediterranean type)
1 green bell pepper
a little less than 1/4 onion (medium sized)
1 garlic clove
1 slice of bread**
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tbsp vinegar (red wine vinegar or balsamic are the best choices)
salt to taste
cold water (if needed)

*This is the key ingredient.  Get the best tomatoes you can find!
**Skip bread for GLUTEN-FREE.


PREPARATION

Wash all vegetables.
Place the slice of bread in a bowl and add 1/2 cup water.  Reserve.
Peel the cucumber and cut in half (you'll only need one half).
Remove stems and cores from the tomatoes.  Cut the tomatoes in quarters.
Peel the onion and cut in quarters.
Remove stem and seeds from bell pepper and cut in halves.
Peel and mince garlic.

Place tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, garlic, bread, olive oil, vinegar and salt in a large bowl -or food processor- and blend until smooth.  It will take a few minutes.
Add cold water if needed, or if you prefer a lighter texture.
Taste, add more salt or vinegar if necessary and blend.

Strain the puree to remove tomato and pepper peels (trust me, it's worth it).

Place in a proper container and keep in the fridge (3 days).
Serve cold!

How to serve it:

1) in a bowl: you eat it with a spoon. You can garnish it with finely chopped cucumber, pepper, onion, tomato and croutons.  The garnishes are served in small bowls so you can add whatever you prefer (or not).

2) in a glass: add cold water to get a lighter texture and drink it!