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The cool-season plant’s leaves are rich in Vitamin A, iron and healthy phytochemicals. Plus, spinach’s mild taste mixes well in culinary dishes ranging from scrambled eggs and salads to soups and casseroles.
Today, I’m going to make a delicious Wilted Spinach Salad that adds an elegant touch to dinners. Best of all, this salad is easy and ready in minutes.
I bought the spinach for this recipe. But you can easily grow your own spinach from transplants or seeds sown in moist, nitrogen-rich soil. As soon as the soil can be worked in early-spring, start sowing spinach seeds and continue every few weeks throughout the growing season.
Spinach has a long tap root, so work your soil deeply before planting. Feed your spinach regularly with compost tea and fish emulsion for continued growth. I like to top dress my spinach plants with worm castings. You’ll be able to start harvesting spinach in 6 to 8 weeks, when the leaves get a couple inches long.
This leafy vegetable grows best in spring and early-fall’s cool temperatures. In warm climates, give your spinach afternoon shade and water to help prevent bolting. In cold climates, spinach plants can typically survive winters with cold frames or warm crop blankets.
This salad was inspired by a recipe I found on Food52, but I’ve added a few ingredients. Many wilted spinach salads are made with hot bacon dressing, but I decided to go a lighter route with this salad. So, instead of bacon grease, you’ll find balsamic caramelized red onions, feta cheese, dried cranberries and sliced almonds to add a bit of healthy flavor. I also like the touch of lemon for a spring-like taste.
Around our house, we definitely think Popeye would approve! Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think.
1 small package of organic baby spinach
1 large red onion, chopped finely or sliced thin
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, maybe more
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon of dried thyme or 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup feta or goat cheese
1/4 cup almond slivers or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (about a ½ small lemon)
1) Wash and dry spinach. Place in a large bowl. Add goat cheese, nuts and dried cranberries.
2) Cook onions in olive oil on medium-low heat, with half of teaspoon salt. Stir occasionally. When the onions are translucent and start to caramelize, add the balsamic vinegar and thyme. Cook until the onions are caramelized completely to a nice color.
3) When onions are finished, immediately pour the hot onions and oil over the spinach. Add the remaining salt and pepper, plus the lemon juice. Stir well, and add a little more hot olive oil if needed.
Serve warm to your guests, and enjoy!