Our book club was gathering for a Sunday afternoon of chat, wine drinking, and food; and I was in the mood for a spinach salad.
Thing is, the salad, which has thinly sliced red onion, mandarin oranges, and feta cheese, needed a nice salad dressing, and I was interested in making a sweet, but really pretty darned good for you Red Onion Dressing, so, I wet looking around da Google, and found a couple of interesting versions that I thought I could work with. except…
They all called for rather a lot of sugar – anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 cup; and I wasn’t really planning in using any sugar, relying on some local honey to bring the sweet.
So, I gathered my ingredients, and cut way back on the honey just for good measure, and came up with this very nice salad dressing – for spinach or any other greens you’d care to try.
•1 medium red onion, chopped
•1 clove garlic
•1/4 cup honey
•1/2 tsp Kosher salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp celery Seed
•3 tbsp Mustard*
•1/3 cup vinegar – I used O Champagne Vinegar, but cider would work as well.
•3/4 cup oil
•1 tsp poppy seed
•Thinly sliced red onion
•Mandarin oranges, well drained
•Feta cheese, crumbled
*I make my own spicy-sweet mustard by stirring together 1/2 cup each of yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, and honey; then stir in 1/2 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper.
Place the coarsely chopped onion and garlic in your blender jar along with the honey, Kosher salt, black and Aleppo peppers, celery seed, mustard, and vinegar.
Cover the blender and pulse until the onion and garlic are well chopped and the mixture is smooth and thick.
With the blender running, slowly pour the oil in through the hole in the top and continue blending until the dressing has absorbed all of the oil and emulsified.
Sprinkle the poppy seeds over the dressing and pulse just until mixed in.
Transfer to container(s) – I ended up with about 1-1/2 pints – and stash in the fridge for a couple of hours or (even better) overnight to allow the flavors to blend.
Note: this dressing, as a rule, will not separate, but if yours does for some reason, just give it a good whisking before serving.
For the salad; place the baby spinach and romaine in a large bowl, then add the red onion, mandarin oranges, and feta cheese. I would not say no to a bit of dried cherries and mebbe some candied pecans, too.
Toss to combine and serve.
By all means toss the dressing with the salad, if you like, but I just passed the dressing and let folks do their own.
Nice dressing, and a very nice salad!