Monday, February 20, 2012

Caramelized Onion Spinach Salad

It was a good eating weekend.  Some weekends are like that, some are more of a flop.  This was a good weekend.  I tried four new recipes over the course of the weekend:  a dessert, a decadent breakfast, a salad, and a vegetarian main dish, plus homemade Hawaiian pizza and homemade beef pho.  Yep, we ate well.  It was one of those weekends that made me wonder why we ever eat out.  I guess because there aren't as many dishes to wash.  However, it's not because the food is better in a restaurant.

My first dish I am going to share from our weekend of blissful eating was the last one I made.  It is also one that fits perfectly with the produce to be found in Central Texas this time of year---spinach.  We didn't offer this dish to the kids, Curtis and I were content to eat it all by ourselves.  It was a side salad for our pizza, but we both agreed it could easily be the main course.  It was also one of Curtis's favorite Spinach salads.  Ever.  That says a lot because that man loves salads.

A few notes on the recipe:  When you caramelize the onions, if possible, don't use a cast iron pan.  I tried out my new stainless saute pan I got for Christmas from my parents (By the way, I love it, Mom and Dad!).  It's easier to caramelize them and a bit faster.  The poached egg is optional.  I am still working on mastering the poached eggs, I overcooked mine for my tastes (but Curtis thought his was perfect).  I also had to throw one out in the process too because the yolk.  Here's a hint:  You can't poach an egg if you accidentally break the yolk trying to get a small piece of shell out of the whites.

Enough said.  My notes are going to be way longer than the recipe itself!

Caramelized Onion Spinach Salad
adapted from coffeefoodwritergirl on

4 - 8 oz spinach, torn into manageable sized salad pieces
1 large yellow, thinly sliced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t ground pepper
one egg per person eating

Wash and dry spinach.  Place in a salad bowl.  Over medium heat in a stainless pan (not nonstick, not cast iron if possible), heat the olive oil.  Add the onions and a 1/4 t salt and saute until they are beginning to caramelize (some will be light brown in color.  They will be very soft and pliable).  Add the balsamic vinegar and continue until caramelized completely.  At this point the onions will be very dark brown, rather shrunken, and very soft.

While the onions are caramelizing, poach your eggs.  I could give you a long detailed explanation on my attempts.  Since I still have varying degrees of success, I thought instead I would provide you to a link with step by step instructions and beautiful pictures.  Here's how to poach eggs, thanks to Deb of Smitten Kitchen.  To serve your salad.  Pour the hot onions and olive oil that remains in the pan over the spinach.  Season with the remaining 1/4 t salt and 1/4 pepper.  Toss completely.  When the salad is tossed, gently lay the poached eggs over the salad.  Eat immediately.

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