Alice Waters’s Warm Spinach Salad
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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.
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 bread crumbs
- bacon — about four slices, diced
- 1 lb. spinach
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Simmer eggs for 7 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 bread crumbs: heat the 2 T. olive oil in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs 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.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Steam, Sauté
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: warm, spinach, salad, bacon, bread, crumbs