Malabar Spinach

Malabar Spinach


A gorgeous combination of dark green leaves and burgundy vines and buds sets this wonderful plant apart from the crowd. An attractive alternative for traditional spinach in your summer garden. Also known as Malabar Spinach, this makes a great salad.
It loves to be grown in the heat and humidity & is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. It is low in calories by volume, but high in protein per calorie. The succulent mucilage is a particularly rich source of soluble fiber. Among many other possibilities, Malabar spinach may be used to thicken soups or stir-fries with garlic and chili peppers.

Malabar Spinach Salad with Orange-Poppy seed Dressing

~ Ingredients~
  • 1/2 of a small cantaloupe
  • 7 cups torn fresh spinach or Malabar Spinach
  • 1 cup cubed cooked lean ham
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • Dash pepper
  • 1/3 cup salad oil
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seed
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions ~

  1. In a food processor bowl or blender container combine sugar, orange peel, orange juice, vinegar, the finely chopped onion, and pepper. Cover and process or blend until combined. With the processor or blender running, slowly add salad oil in a steady stream through hole or opening in top. Process or blend until mixture is thickened. Stir in poppy seed. Use immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator until needed. Shake before using.
  2. Remove the seeds and peel from the cantaloupe. Thinly slice the cantaloupe lengthwise; using miniature cutters, cut the melon into stars. (Or, use a melon baller to scoop the melon half into balls.) In a large serving bowl toss together cantaloupe, spinach, ham, and red onion. Add pecans; pour half of the dressing over all. Toss to coat. (Cover and chill remaining dressing up to 3 days.) Makes 4 main-dish or 8 side-dish servings.
  3. Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare dressing; cover and chill up to 3 days. Prepare cantaloupe-spinach mixture as above. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Before serving, add pecans; pour dressing over all. Toss to coat.

Recipe by Better Homes and Gardens

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