iso: a spinach salad that wows...
My version of spinach salad combines some traditional elements with some variants.
Do the traditional bit by frying bacon strips (lardons here in France) then when they're crisp adding white wine vinegar. Let this cook down a bit then pour over the spinach & some finely chopped onions while still hot. (It helps to have somebody to toss while you pour.)
Now the non-traditional bit. Add a generous amount of sun dried tomatoes cut into strips and a generous amount of chevre (you want a chevre that's just firm enough to hold its shape when cut.) cut into 1/2 inch rounds & then the rounds cut into quarters.
Its best to mix the salad again after adding the sun dried tomatoes then to add the chevre to each serving individually.
The flavors in this salad combine well & its an interesting combination.
Well, when asparagus is in season I like to grill it along w some mushrooms and toss them w baby spinach and parmesan. I use a simple balsamic vinaigrette. If you're looking for a more substantial salad, a poached egg is wonderful on top.
The other combo I never tire of is baby spinach, dried cranberries, slivered almonds sauteed in brown butter w a little brown sugar. I sprinkle feta on top of this w a light dressing of lime vinaigrette.
We eat a lot of this in spinach season:
Warm spinach and goat cheese salad
2 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
2 slices (2 ounces) Canadian bacon, cut into strips (or crumbled cooked regular bacon
)1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
4 small tomatoes on the vine or plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Put the spinach on a dinner plate or large shallow bowl. Sprinkle the bacon and goat cheese on top.
2. Cover the plate or bowl with a paper towel, then microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes. You're looking for the cheese to look a bit melty, and the spinach to look wilted.
3. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper and lightly mix. Add tomatoes and basil, if using. Optionally, add sundried tomatoes, or olives.
I like to make a mustard vinaigrette, dress the spinach, and then top with roasted walnuts, dried cranberries, shallots, and goat cheese. If I am not serving meat with the salad, I add a lightly boiled egg.
In fact, this is tonight's dinner. Tonight's variation includes crispy shallots, and no cheese. Instead, I have made some bread which we will eat with blue cheese.
i do a variation with baby tomatoes, julienned sundried tomatoes, julienned roasted bell peppers, caramelized, roasted or grilled figs, goat or blue cheese, and pecans or cashews, with a balsamic vinaigrette or lemon white wine vinaigrette... generally well-received :)
Thanks Emme + smtucker ;-)
Looks like I'll probably do a spinach/avocado/mango/cuke/red onion salad this time, with a lime/ginger/white balsamic vinaigrette. I might also add some chopped cilantro to the vinaigrette. This salad will be a side dish at an Easter brunch, so I'm going to omit cheese to keep it a little lighter. Might serve some candied pecans or toasted cashews on the side, for people who want to add nuts.
Spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions. If I'm feeling crazy, I'll add hearts of palm, artichoke hearts and corn (and omit the cucumbers). My dressing is olive oil/lemon juice/crushed garlic/salt/black pepper.
It is one of the more simple salads I make, but for some reason my guests go crazy for it.