Spinach 2 Ways, Plus a Citrus Salad Dressing

06cSpinachSaladDressingbfLOI came across this recipe for a spinach salad with an orange, lemon, and Dijon based dressing that looked kinda tasty, and the nice folk at FoodNetwork.com have rarely let me down, so I set about making it…

and it was OK. Not bad, by any means, just not necessarily something I’d be itching to make again, soon. But what to do with the leftovers?

Well, when life hands you lemons, you may as well make a lemon-y sauté!

Citrus Dressing:
•2 tsp lemon zest
•2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
•1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
•2 tbsp Dijon mustard
•2 tsp honey, plus more to taste
•Pinch dried French thyme, rubbed through your fingertips
•1/2 tsp fine salt
06aSpinachSaladNoDressingbfLO•1/4 cup olive oil
•1/4 cup canola oil

Spinach Salad:
•Baby Spinach (about 1/2 bag)
•1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin
•1/2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
•Sweetened dried cranberries
•1 Persian cucumber, sliced thin
•Honey roasted sunflower seeds

05aCitrusDressingbfLOSpinach Sauté:
•Leftover dressed salad, plus more spinach
•1 tbsp olive oil
•3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced

First, make the citrus dressing by  combining the lemon zest, lemon and orange juices, honey, Dijon mustard, thyme, and salt together in a blender.

07SpinachSaladPlatebfLOScrape down the sides, then, with the blender running, slowly add the olive and canola oils through the small hole in the lid so that the dressing can absorb the oils and emulsify nicely. Taste and add more salt and/or honey, if you like.

Transfer the dressing to a lidded jar and stash in the fridge until needed.

Make the salad by tossing the spinach, onion, chickpeas, cranberries, cucumber, and sunflower seeds together in a large bowl, then toss with some of the citrus dressing.

Nice. Bright. Fresh. But…

08SpinachGarlicOilSautebfLOIt needed something.

Still, I was not about to waste a bag of spinach – well, 1/2 a bag, plus the leftover dressed salad; so I stashed the salad in the fridge, and came back the next day with a plan…

I minced the garlic, then heated the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.

Once the oil was hot, I added the garlic and sautéed it for two minutes, just until it was lightly browned and becoming aromatic.

10SpinachPlateSalmonbfLONext, I added the leftover dressed (and now slightly wilted) salad and tossed it with the garlic and oil for a minute.

Finally, it was time to add the remaining spinach from the bag, which I then sautéed for two minutes.

Done! One bag o’ baby spinach, served first as a salad – which was OK, mebbe next time I should try agave instead of honey? – and then sautéed with garlic for a much nicer result – especially with yellow rice and marinated salmon for dinner.

Like I said; life…lemons…sauté – it’s all good.

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