Key Lime & Coconut

My adventures in the world of food & wine

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I'm in Love With a Salad

It's not often that I make a recipe that's so incredibly awesome that it instantaneously gets added to my arsenal of go-to meals, but this Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing was one of them. My mom and I made it for Christmas dinner this year, and I think it was the biggest hit of the night, my special honey-and-lavender duck included. A few days later, I flew out to Arizona to meet my boyfriend's family, and I volunteered to make this salad as my contribution to their New Year's Eve dinner. Huge hit there, too. Since then, I've made it twice, and my boyfriend's family has made it at least four more times.

The thing is, it's incredibly quick and easy, and it's
so delicious. The red onions add sweetness, and the creamy feta just kind of coats the spinach leaves, and the sherry vinegar gives the whole thing a lightly acidic but nutty flavor. Sherry vinegar can be hard to find (Williams Sonoma sells it, but it's not cheap), so if you can't find any, you can just use equal parts white wine or red wine vinegar and real sherry.

Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing
Serves 4
  • one bag fresh spinach leaves
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • one small, or 1/2 large, red onion, sliced thinly
  • one 8-oz package feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2-3 Tbsp sherry vinegar (or vinegar + sherry)
Put all of the spinach leaves in a large bowl. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, then add the sliced red onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent and lightly browned, about 5-10 minutes. Dump the onion out of the skillet onto the spinach. With the skillet off of the heat but still warm, add the feta cheese and the sherry vinegar (plus a little extra olive oil if the skillet is too dry). Stir until the cheese is softened and slightly melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Add to the spinach and onions, toss, and serve.

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