HomeAppetizer Autumn Spinach Salad + Giveaway

Autumn Spinach Salad + Giveaway

Comments : 16 Posted in : Appetizer, Side Dish on by : Chris

autumn spinach salad

We wanted to share this post with you on Tuesday but, as we live in NJ, we lost electricity thanks to Hurricane Sandy. As of this posting we still don’t have power, heat, or working internet at work or home. We held out hope we’d get it back within a day or two. We ate well the first day (hooray for a gas range and matches!) to use up some perishables. After that, using ice bags and coolers we salvaged the essentials from our fridge – 5 blocks of cheese and my favorite soy sauce included. Then we attempted to make brownies stove top (works in a pinch, but if you have an oven, use it!). But, by Thursday night and still no power, we packed up the babies and headed to my parent’s house where, thankfully, they had gotten back power.

We are grateful to have a place to go. Our thoughts and prayers are with the many people don’t have a warm place to go, or worse, no longer have a home to go back to due to flooding or hurricane damage.  So, we are thankful. Thankful our family is safe.

It’s pretty crazy that everything is still such a mess. I waited on line 45 minutes to get gas, only for the station to run out before getting to the pump. I drove by the small handful of stations that were still open and with gas, and all had lines at least a 1/2 mile long.  I finally did get gas later on in the week-after spotting a tanker filling up a station, I hopped on line. 90 minutes later I had gas (and breakfast! as it was near my parent’s house and my Dad ran me a bagel and tea while on line 🙂 ). Hurricane Sandy is definitely leaving us with stories to share with the kids and grand kids.

Speaking of grand kids, my Grandfather passed away this week. Not hurricane related, it was just his time. Kind of a “it was expected, but still unexpected” thing. We visited with him just last weekend, he got to meet our newest member of the family- his 13th great grandchild. I’m grateful for the time with him. He will be sorely missed.

That all said, this post is not all sad news. Family memories are to be treasured.  And there are delicious recipes you can make without power. Let me share with you what we’ve been wanting to share- a wonderful recipe from a delightful family cookbook, plus, a give-away!

autumn spinach salad

We were asked to review the book A Family Farm in Tuscany, a collection of family stories and recipes by Sarah Fioroni. If you’ve been reading our blog for awhile, you know this blog is a place for us to store our own family recipes and stories. So it was with great enthusiasm that we agreed to review and share Sarah’s collection with you.

A Family Farm in Tuscany is really a story of Sarah Fioroni’s family, spanning back a few generations, and a vivid portrayal of the life and workings of their family farm. Sarah personally takes the reader through her family history, the history of the land, and the inner workings and details of the farm they still work. It is easily to see why tourists from around the world travel to the farm to visit, relax, and indulge in the flavors of the countryside.

The book takes you on a journey through each of the calendar months on the farm; giving you a firsthand account of the activities in the kitchen and in the fields during each of the seasons. Spread throughout the book are family recipes, each deliciously appropriate for the season.

We finally settled upon this Autumn Spinach Salad with you. It’s a very simple to make salad but the thing we loved most about it was the addition of pomegranate seeds. Have you ever opened a pomegranate? It’s beautiful. The inside of the fruit is divided into 5 chambers. When you cut it open and peel apart a chamber you are greeted with a beautiful collection of ruby red seeds, which are juicy, pleasantly crunchy, and slightly tart. Paired with the cheese, and lightly drizzled olive oil on spinach, you’ve got a wonderful simple “fresh from the farm” tasting salad.

A Family Farm in Tuscany is a worthy edition to your book shelf, though maybe not to be stored upon your recipe book shelf. Not because the recipes aren’t good – this one was and the other ones definitely look appealing, but because the book is more filled with  the stories of the farm and the family, details of how wines are made, livestock raised, produce harvested and is not heavily laden with recipes. If I had to make a complaint about the book, it would be that there aren’t more recipes in it!

Learn more about Fattoria Poggio Alloro, Sarah’s family farm at their website Fattoria Poggio Alloro.

And now to the give-away!

We are pleased to be able to offer one reader a complimentary copy of A Family Farm in Tuscany: Recipes and Stories from Fattoria Poggio Alloro. Check out the entry requirements just after the picture.

A big thank you Sarah for this opportunity to share with our readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
autumn spinach salad

Autumn Spinach Salad + Giveaway


  • 5 ounces baby spinach, washed and dry
  • 5 ounces Tuscan Pecorino cheese or Asiago cheese, diced
  • 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pine nuts
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Divide the baby spinach leaves among 6 salad plates. Divide the diced cheese, pomegranate seeds, and pine nuts into 6 equal portions and arrange a portion on top of each salad serving. Drizzle each salad with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Recipe from: A Family Farm in Tuscany

Thanks for everyone’s well wishes and concerns regarding both the ongoing ordeal in New Jersey post Hurricane Sandy, and the more personal grieving process the Keenan family is going through with the loss of my grandfather. <3


16 thoughts

  • Tammy
    November 3, 2012 at 1:00 am

    I am so sorry to hear about your Grandfather. I know he will always be watching over all of you. I’m also so sad about the hurricane I can’t imagine how hard that was for everyone affected by it and still is. My sis-in-law was actually in Boston when it hit and we were all really worried about her. I know how it is not to have power for a few days especially with little ones. I pray that things will get back to normal VERY soon for all of you there. God bless.

    • Chris
      November 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Thank you for the kind words Tammy, they are appreciated.

  • Karen M
    November 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    So sorry to hear about the passing of your Grandpa. Stil in shock of the devistation that Hurricane Sandy made, glad you are finding warmth and comfort at your parents home.

  • Karen M
    November 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    My favorite recipe with yeast that I make has to be bread, ANY type of bread!!

  • November 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I cannot even imagine having caught in that storm. We only had some wind and rain.

    Much empathy and compassion for losing your grandfather. I am so sorry to hear that.

    I love your choice of recipe. It’s simple, classic and beautiful. No need to enter me in the giveaway. I was part of the tour as well. Just wanted to stop by and say hello.

    • Chris
      November 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts Kim. Definitely a hard week all in all but that is life, sometimes challenges, sometimes joy. Thanks for stopping by as a fellow tour member 🙂

  • Louis
    November 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Chicken in lemon/wine/mustard sauce.

  • November 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. This salad is beautiful, and it was calling my name as well. I can’t wait to try it. Keep me out of the entries – I already have a copy. 🙂

    • Chris
      November 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Caneel! I have to head over and see what you cooked up!

  • Ginny
    November 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I am so sorry to read about your grandfather’s passing. Even if his death was expected, it remains gut-wrenching to say good-bye to a loved one. And to have to walk through that difficult time in the midst of Sandy’s destruction…I’m just so sorry for you guys!

    Thank you very much for participating in the book tour. I appreciate the effort you had to make to get this post up (in every way!). The salad looks beautiful, and I am a big pomegranate fan…I’d like to wear a halved one as jewelry or something one day. They are just so gorgeous.

    Thanks again for taking part,

    • Chris
      November 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Thanks Ginny! We were delighted to be a part of the tour. It also felt fitting that we were reviewing a book about family when we were dealing with family issues at home.
      Lol at wearing a half pomegranate as a jewel. Hahahah 🙂

  • Sarah Fioroni
    November 6, 2012 at 11:23 am

    It was sad to read about your grandfather, I’m very sorry for your lost.
    I can not express how I appreciate your hard work to post the recipes and the review of my book even with the Hurricane.So I really big thanks to you and your passion.
    I really hope the things are getting better now.
    The post is amazing ! Thank you!

  • Andreiaaa
    November 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I´m sorry to hear about your grandfather 😡
    It´s really hard to see the devastation that sandy hurricane made.
    Hope you´ll fell better 😡
    Be strong.

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