I was recently exposed to a surprisingly flavorful salad dish prepared by a friend.  It's finally warming up, and there's nothing  quite like indulging in a cool, crisp, hearty salad.  My friend was not sure where she picked it up, but it was good enough to inspire me to share it with you.  Although a variety of spices are required, healthy “foodies” will probably have many of them on hand.

Here’s how you can create this delicious cocktail of flavors to drizzle over your salad:

Add the following to a saucepan and bring it to a boil: 2 cups (or three!) of good Temperanillo wine, 2-4 cloves, 1/8 cup of lemon peel shavings (plus a spritz from the fresh fruit), 1 cinnamon stick, 3-4 star anise pods, 2/3 cup sugar, one teaspoon of fennel seeds.  Keep boiling for about 20 minutes; the dressing will reduce in volume, but do not fear!  You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes very, very thick.  Allow your dressing to cool, then use a strainer to get rid of the solid matter.

Prepare your salad as usual, but the addition of a few strategically-placed mint leaves compliments this dressing very nicely.  Add a pinch of salt on top, if desired.  Serve, and enjoy!

<div id="attachment_1551" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 300px">tempranillo<p class="wp-caption-text">Tempranillo Vines (image from Wikipedia)</p></div>