Friday, April 8, 2011

Eat It: Warm Spinach Salad Recipe

This is my absolute favourite dinner for this time of year, when the weather is still chilly, but it’s distinctly springlike. Flower bulbs are just starting to poke up through the dirt, and I always start craving more green things, fresh things. I find it's still too cold to go for a wholly crisp salad dinner though, and I need something with a bit more substance and body.

this only lasted about 10 seconds after photo was taken
This is heavily inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe I came across a few months ago, but I’ve written it here as I make it. I've used sweet potato instead of baking potato to add more colour and flavour, cheddar swapped for fresh Parmesan, and balsamic vinegar because I find it's more versatile (I hate when recipes specify ingredients I'll never use again). I've also added fresh basil because I used some I had leftover this time and really liked. I can see a lot of other things blending with this well, like slices of onion or shallots, shredded carrot, or chopped mushrooms and peppers. Perfect for using up your fridge's odd bits!

The great thing about this recipe is that it's easily adapted to serve one or many—just make sure you have enough eggs on hand. I like to use free-range eggs because they're more flavourful, and this dish makes the most of every element.

Warm Spinach Salad with Sweet Potato
Serves One
Takes about 20 minutes to prepare

2 cups fresh spinach
Olive oil (roughly two tbsps)
1 medium sweet potato, cubed in dice-sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
A few leaves of fresh basil, shredded
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
A handful of shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg

1. Heat up a tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, and add the garlic and sweet potato. Season with salt and pepper. Put a lid on top of the pan to help the sweet potato cook faster. Cook, tossing occasionally, and add the basil after about 7 minutes. It should take about 15 minutes to cook overall.

2. To make the dressing, whisk the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard together in a small cup (I use a fork).

3. Toss the dressing with the spinach in a bowl. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheddar cheese on top of the spinach.

4. Once the sweet potato is cooked, layer it on top of the spinach and cheese. The spinach will become slightly wilted and the cheese will start to melt.

5. Fry an egg sunny-side up, so the white is set but the yolk is still runny. Place egg on top of the sweet potato.

Bon Appétit!


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