Spinach salad with mustard balsamic vinaigrette

Anyone who knows me will know that I have not been a fan of the vegetables. I have often had to be dragged kicking and screaming to a plateful, which, even then, will still need to be doused in some seriously unhealthy things like cheese, cream or bacon fat, for me to even consider consuming it. However, I have been having a change of heart of late. I do note that my adventuresomeness increased upon the introduction of David into my culinary world, which may have passed into the realm of vegetables. For salads, I have discovered that I can actually tolerate spinach quite well, given the right dressing. This balsamic vinaigrette was a concoction of David’s creation and has become a staple at our dinner table. It’s quick, easy and tasty (even inducing me, the registered veggiephobe, to eat it). If that’s not an endorsement, then I don’t know what is!

This recipe was born out of a desire to use walnut oil. On our honeymoon in France, we had gone to a weekly market in the village of Tocane-St-Apre and ran across walnut oil, of which David had to have a bottle. We weren’t really sure what to do with it, so he decided to concoct this recipe. We rationed our French bottle of walnut oil, which lasted us until we moved to Chicago, and we’ve only recently had to replace it.

Recipe

spinach
crumbled feta (to taste)
diced tomatoes (optional) or
sliced strawberries (optional)

Dressing

2 part balsamic vinegar
4 parts walnut oil
1 part Dijon mustard
1/2 part honey (optional)

Whisk together ingredients for dressing. Toss spinach and other ingredients in dressing. Sprinkle with feta to taste.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: If including diced  tomatoes, David will add the 1/2 part of honey in order to increase the sweetness of the dressing. This recipe also goes well with fruit; we often thrown in sliced strawberries (at which point you don’t need to include honey in the dressing). Of course, other fruits would also lend itself well such as raspberries or even blueberries. It’s got a great tangy flavour, that’s light and actually healthy. And it seems to pair well with most of the things we eat.

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