Friday, June 8, 2012

Puttanesca Seitan & Spinach Salad

"Puttanesca Seitan & Spinach Salad" (page 82) is a hearty salad that can become the centerpiece of a meal, especially if you toss in some cooked pasta, an option suggested in the recipe. The salad consists of garlic sautéed seitan, mixed with kalamata and green olives, capers, spinach and tomatoes. The dressing is a balsamic-based vinaigrette which calls for three tablespoons of olive oil, too much to completely omit without using something in its place. I opted to replace the oil with water, which I mixed with the balsamic vinegar and other dressing ingredients, plus I used ¼ teaspoon of guar gum to thicken the dressing before pouring over the salad. Fresh basil and parsley are added as a finishing touch.  The flavors in this salad are fresh and intense, and although it makes four servings, my husband and I finished it off in one sitting. I was able to keep this dish completely oil free by using a non-stick skillet when sautéing the seitan and omitting the oil called for in this step as well.

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