Spinach Salad with Coconut-Lime Cream

June 2, 2012 Published by Dina

Our place in Mexico has gorgeous coconut trees swaying right in front of our second floor covered patio. They provide shelter for birds perched on their branches and are heavy with large coconuts hanging in clusters, green and heavy with coconut juice. While on vacation there, I try to use coconut in my cooking and have developed a bit of repertoire incorporating it into dishes, both sweet and savoury. One of those creations is this creamy coconut and lime dressing that i like to use with spinach leaves. Spinach leaves in Mexico are large, green and fresh and what’s more, readily available in our part of that beautiful country (The Mayan Riviera and Quintana Roo peninsula don’t have much soil over the rocky ground and much of the foodstuff has to be trucked in there from other parts of Mexico). This creamy dressing, sweet with agave and coconut cream and tangy with lime juice, pairs perfectly with the full flavour and texture of spinach. A few toasted almonds add crunch and lend their nutty element to complete the flavour and texture melody of this salad. For the coconut cream get a can of coconut cream and scoop out the top creamy part, without the watery content. You can use the coconut water to thin out the dressing if it is too thick. Let me know what you think if you try it.


About 4-6 cups of washed and dried fresh spinach leaves

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Coconut-lime cream (recipe below)

Salt and pepper if you need them


Wash and spin dry the spinach leaves and place in a large bowl

Toss leaves with a little bit of the dressing and sprinkle half the almonds over.

Divide salad on 2-4 salad plates, drizzle a little more dressing g ove and garnish with remaining almonds.

Serve with extra dressing in a small individual dishes on the side.

Coconut-Lime Cream

1/2 cup coconut cream (without the water)

2 tablespoons agave syrup

Juice of 1 lime

Scoop out the creamy part of a can of coconut cream, reserving the coconut water.

Place the coconut cream in a bowl, add agave syrup and squeeze the lime juice over. Taste and add more lime juice if needed.


Coconuts in Mexico


Avocado-coconut soup in a coconut shell, the Ritz Carlton, Cancun



  • Dori mezzarobba says:

    How unusual, I have never seen coconuts in this yellow staqe as you’ve depicted growing here. How delightful, right outside your balcony. The coconut shell soup bowl makes a unique addition to this delicious luncheon. The coconut dressing sounds exceptional.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Dori, I think the yellow is a sign of maturity maybe. Coconut shells make a wonderful container for foods but they are hard to find and then you have to cut them so they can be used as a bowl. Too much work. The image was of a soup I always have at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun at the casual cafe restaurant by the beach. I have my Mexico rituals and this is one of them. The coconut bowl is not just the shell. It has the coconut flesh in it. I try to chip at it with my knife to get some of the flesh out to munch on, a bit messy operation.