- Course: Appetizer, Main Course
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 7 Times
While a leafy salad is refreshing, it won’t fill me up. But it can be a base for other ingredients that bring bulk and flavor to the mix. One of my favorite salad greens is baby spinach. Its mild flavor makes it hospitable to any number of embellishments and vinaigrettes, so I need never be bored. One day I might enjoy a Greek-inspired oregano-and-garlic vinaigrette and another time a refreshing mint vinaigrette.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus ¼ cup tightly packed chopped mint
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cooked white or black beans or chickpeas (optional)
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- 1 large or 2 small beets, cooked and peeled
- 6 ounces cooked shrimp (optional)
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives
- 4 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
Select a vinaigrette.
Oregano-Garlic Vinaigrette: In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, including salt and pepper to taste.
Mint Vinaigrette: Begin with a flavor infusion, combining 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the 2 tablespoons chopped mint in a small saucepan or sauté pan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Let steep for about 10 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. There will be 2 tablespoons in all. Add the remaining ingredients, including the ¼ cup chopped mint and the 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and whisk together.
If using beans, toss them in 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes. In a small bowl, marinate the onion in 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette for about 15 minutes to soften it and lessen its bite.
If the spinach leaves are large, remove the stems and tear the leaves into smaller pieces. If using a large beet, cut it in half and then into ¼-inch-slices. Cut small beets into quarters or eighths.
In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, marinated onions, beets, and the beans and shrimp, if using, with the remaining vinaigrette. Toss well and sprinkle with the olives and feta.
© 2003 Joyce Goldstein
Nutritional information is based on using Oregano-Garlic Vinaigrette and includes the optional beans and shrimp.
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt.