Monday, October 5, 2009

A Delightful Spinach Salad

Our favorite little sandwich shop, Rosewood Cafe, make a really delicious bacon and blue cheese salad. The only problem with it is that they use a green leaf lettuce, and not spinach. And I love spinach, so I hunted around for a "classic" spinach salad.

I adapted this recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook. Their cheese croutons were a revelation. I might make all of my croutons this way from now on. Also, they had bacon in their recipe. Normally, I am all for bacon--I had some organic chicken pesto sausage I served on the side instead.

Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola Croutons
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1 Tablespoon butter, at room temperature
4-6 pieces rustic bread-the thicker the slices, the less you will need.
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
scant 1/4 cup mayo
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons real maple syrup (or honey)
1 pound baby spinach
1/2 onion cut into very thin slices
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 350 F.

Mash together Gorgonzola and room temp butter. Generously spread on your bread slices and then cut slices into 1" squares and arrange on baking sheet. Bake until turning golden, about 12-15 minutes.

While croutons are baking, mince garlic and then mash it together with the salt to make a paste. I used my mortar and pestle, but you can use the side of your knife on the cutting board.

In food processor, blend garlic-salt paste, mayo, oil, vinegar, and maple syrup. Toss spinach and onions with the warm cheese croutons and dressing. Serve eggs on the side.

I also made a bruschetta with the last of the garden tomatoes and basil.

Theoretically, this should serve four, but we love spinach, so we ate about 3/4's of it.

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