This Wilted Spinach Salad is quick, easy, delicious, and great if you have to avoid raw foods because of treatment- the hot oil literally cooks the spinach as you turn the salad in the dressing. The first time I made it, I couldn’t believe how the spinach instantly wilted under the heat of the hot oil used in the dressing. I also adored the crunchy contrast of the fried shallots and little pepitas with the soft greens. It’s important to use very tender leaves for this dish, so if you can, use baby spinach.
1. Carefully strip the tender spinach leaves from their stems. If using baby spinach, use the whole leaf. Pat dry.
2. Beat the balsamic vinegar and salt together at the bottom of a large ceramic or stainless steel salad bowl. Stir in the cilantro leaves, if using.
3. Pile the spinach leaves on top of the vinegar without mixing. Sprinkle with the almonds.
4. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan over a medium-high heat and gently fry the shallots until they start to caramelize, about 5 to 8 minutes. Pour the shallots and oil in the pan over the spinach and toss quickly, the spinach will wilt slightly. Serve immediately
Ann's Tips and Tricks
To be on the safe side, even if you buy pre-washed spinach, be sure to wash these and all greens well before using for salads.
Pepitas are powerhouses of minerals and vitamins in their own right. They contain calcium, iron, manganese, thiamine, folate, and vitamins A & K. They’re worth getting to know and use.