Despite being inundated with CSA greens, I found myself returning from the co-op this week with Wellington’s spinach, a big bag of emerald green, crinkly and craggy leaves. I couldn’t resist.
I had a recipe in mind, too, a warm spinach salad I had made years ago, which I had forgotten about, but whose method I love. No surprise, it comes from Chez Panisse Vegetables and calls for gently wilting the spinach in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water. Cool, right?
Last time, I made it Catalan-style, replacing the bacon and toasted breadcrumbs with pine nuts and raisins. What was I thinking? Bacon and breadcrumbs make everything better. Am I right? Am I right?
Have a wonderful weekend, Everyone.
PS: Sorry the site has been up and down this week. I’ve been making some changes — things should be faster now — and I’ve been reorganizing the categories and how they display: salads, pizza, on the side, bread, breakfast, desserts, chicken, etc. All of these categories can be found under Recipes in the menu up at the top.
Alice Waters' Warm Spinach Salad
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables I love Wellington's spinach, which you can find at the Niskayuna Co-op — so good. CPV notes that medium, slightly more substantial leaves are better for this salad than very delicate tiny ones.
- 2 to 3 eggs
- 1 shallot, minced
- vinegar, white balsamic, sherry, etc. — whatever you have
- pinch salt
- pinch sugar
- olive oil to taste
- 2 T. olive oil
- 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- bacon — about four slices, diced
- Spinach — a lot, maybe a 1/2 pound?
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Simmer eggs for 9 minutes, then cool in cold water till serving time.
- Meanwhile, marinate shallot in vinegar with a pinch of salt and sugar for 10 minutes. Whisk in olive oil to taste, keeping the dressing rather sharp — a 2:1 oil-to-vinegar ratio is good here.
- Meanwhile, make the breadcrumbs: heat the 2 T. olive oil in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until they are crisp and golden brown (about 5 minutes). Be careful not to burn them.
- Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crisp. Save the rendered fat for another use.
- Wash and lightly dry the spinach leaves. Place them in a large stainless steel bowl and toss lightly with some of the dressing. Mix in bacon and breadcrumbs and season with pepper. Put the bowl over a pan of simmering water and toss continually with tongs while the salad heats. Use a towel to grip the bowl. Remove when the leaves are just wilted and serve immediately.
- Peel and quarter eggs, season with salt and pepper, and serve with salad.