Great tips for Warm Spinach Salads

spinach salad with steakWarm spinach salads are colorful, comforting, and delicious and pack some garden fresh nutrition into a full blown meal.  Bringing the dressing up to a simmer to dissolve the brown sugar in the dressing and then pouring it over the bowl of cold spinach will wilt the spinach just enough to get that perfect texture.

Dressing can be all over the map and they don’t have to include bacon.  But they are basically heated vinaigrettes with some sweetness added.  So you can take balsamic, Dijon, brown sugar, and olive oil and make a delicious dressing.  Even if I crisp the bacon, I drain the saturated fat bacon grease from the pan and replace it with olive oil.  You still get bacon flavor but it is healthier.  For a twist add some chili garlic paste and some sesame oil and you will have an Asian flair that goes great with sautéed shrimp.  When going to dress the salad.  Add half the dressing first, then toss it a few times and taste it.  Add dressing in small batches until you get just the right amount. This type of salad can handle being  a little heavy handed with the dressing, but you don’t want it to swim!

I always recommend caramelizing the onions and mushrooms to develop their natural sweetness and take out the bite.  Chopping up a hardboiled egg also gives it a classic finish.

The protein can be anything from steak to shrimp to chicken.  Just cook it simply and to the right temperature.  Remember that if you are going to be using steak to season the outside thoroughly and to make sure you rest the meat for 10 minutes before cutting into it so the meat juices stay in the meat and don’t run all over the plate.  Bon Appetit, Johnny