May 7, 2011 11:30 AM
Spinach Salad with Jamaica Vinaigrette and Caramelized Pecans
POSTED IN: TV Show Recipes , Pati's Mexican Table
TAGS: EP106 , hibiscus flowers , jamaica , recipe , salad , scallions , spinach , viaigrette , watercress
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Ensalada de Espinaca con Vinagreta de Jamaica y Nueces GarapiƱadas
Serves 8 to 10

18 oz fresh spinach leaves, rinsed, drained and thickly sliced
1 bunch watercress, rinsed and stems removed
6-8 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
Jamaica Vinaigrette (see below)
1 cup caramelized pecans, roughly chopped or whole pieces, to your liking (recipe follows)

Jamaica Vinaigrette
3/4 cup dried jamaica flowers
3 garlic cloves
1 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp kosher or sea salt
2 tsp sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place the jamiaca flowers in a bowl along with the garlic, oils, vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper.  Let them sit for a few minutes, for the flowers to soften up a bit.  Then pour everything into a blender and puree.  The flowers will not be pureed until smooth.  The mix will have a textured consistency with chewy flower chunks: that's what you want! 

Let the mix stand for at least two hours.  If it will not be used then, it can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week.

Place the spinach and watercress in a large bowl.  Pour some of the vinaigrette on top and toss. Top with the chopped caramelized pecans and sprinkle the scallions over the top. Drizzle some more vinaigrette on top. If you have leftover vinaigrette, you can eat it with a spoon!


1 cup shelled pecans
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tbsp butter or vegetable shortening, diced
1 tsp salt, or to taste (use regular salt, not kosher or sea salt)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the pecans on a baking tray, add the butter chunks and pour the maple syrup on top. Toss.  Bake for 10 minutes, take them out of the oven and stir to make sure all the pecans are covered with the syrup.  Place them back in the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes, until they have browned and the syrup has thickened to the consistency of caramel.

Take them out of the oven, scoop the pecans out and place on a dry surface such as a kitchen counter or another baking tray. Try to separate the nuts from each other.  Once completely cool, they can be stored in a closed container for weeks.


Watched this program on 5-14-11. Kept my interest throughout the show. The food looked delicious, and by the presentation, looked easy to prepare. I have printed the recipes for the salad and tacos, along with the popsicles and water. I hope to try these in the near future. Pati, the host, was very informative. A great show.

Corinne | May 15, 2011 8:56 PM

For the first time I watched Pati's Mexican Table and fell in love with her show. This will surely be one of my cooking shows I will not want to miss. Pati made everything look so simple to make and it all looked delicious. I can't wait to try her recipes and see what she will come up with next. What I liked most is that she is very authenic as is her cooking.


Norma | May 22, 2011 11:12 PM

Who needs the Food Network when we have Pati Jinich? I've been watching Pati's show since it first started, and have loved every episode. They're all saved on my DVR and I refer to them often. My mother was the BEST Mexican cook ever but I'd say Pati runs a close second (Pati, you probably feel the same way about your mom)! The jamaica recipes are wonderful. They bring back memories of summer vacations in Mexico ... and the tomatillo recipes are delicious! I have my own great recipes for salsa verde but that tomatillo jam is a new one for me. I could go on and on but I'll end this by saying that Pati is the real deal. Not only does she give us delicious recipes that are easy to follow but she gives her viewers enough information on the food and history of Mexico that inspire us to be creative in the kitchen. Thank you for inviting us to your Mexican table, Pati. I feel right at home.

Angela | June 30, 2011 9:48 PM

Hi Angela, thanks for your sweet comments! I'm glad I am able to help bring back the memories of your childhood with my food. And it makes me so happy that you are enjoying the show!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Angela | July 1, 2011 12:14 PM

Hi Pati. I just saw your show and loved the way you just teach a person how to cook your receipe for using Jamaica. I love flowers and never thought I could use Hibiscus flower for cooking. I love the way you take your time and slowly explain how you cook your receipes. Thank you .

Yvette Cruz | March 31, 2012 10:33 AM