Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Spinach Salad

This is a recipe that was included in a teakwood salad bowl set I received as a wedding gift in 1978 (I was 19).  Needless to say, the marriage didn’t last.  However, the recipe is still in its original “paper” (paper? what’s that?) form and tucked away in a 3” x 5 ½” plastic recipe box that I still have from when I was 13 years old.  I modified the recipe and made it for years and always received many compliments.  That was “back in the day” during the time period way before I started experimenting and creating cuisines from “around the world.” 

Recently, after purchasing a beautiful bunch of fresh spinach from the produce market, I revisited the recipe. I don’t use bacon, so it’s vegetarian friendly.  Instead, I use red onions (yes, red onions), which are finely diced into ¼ inch pieces, then rinsed under cold water and drained and squeezed through paper towels to remove the water.  This takes out the “tartness” of the onion but still keeps the flavor.

1 pound of raw spinach
Dash of Kosher salt (my dash = 0.0125 grams)
3 cloves of garlic, minced or smashed – whatever you like
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 Tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
½ pound of raw button  mushrooms, sliced (if you want to, get exotic with the mushrooms, then go for it)  -- I you don’t like “a lot” of mushrooms, use about a cup of sliced versus the ½ pound
½ cup of red onion- finely chopped into ¼ inch pieces.  Rinse onions under water and drain with paper towels. 

Wash spinach well. Of course, we know this today; this is from 1978.  Cut away tough stems.  Drain spinach leaves and chill in damp clean cloths—again circa’78.  Today, we use a salad spinner and then let spinach sit in the fridge to chill.

Sprinkle bottom of the salad bowl with salt and then rub with garlic.  Keep garlic in the bowl if you’re bold.  If not, remove it.  This will just give a “hint” of garlic flavor.  Add lemon juice and olive oil and chill the bowl for about 30 minutes.  Tear spinach leaves into bit size pieces.  Add spinach to chilled bowl.  Add sliced mushrooms and red onion.  Toss lightly.  Serves 4.

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