Saturday, April 13, 2013

Breakfast Salad

At the end of the first week of the new year, having been sick with the worst cold ever, I suddenly got this craving for spinach salad. Maybe it subconsciously had to do with balancing out the excesses of the holiday season. Whatever the case, I rounded up the ingredients, using Smitten Kitchen's recipe as a guide.

It was so good (I mean, it tasted like a classic spinach salad, but it satisfied a craving). I couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to eat salad morning, noon, and night. And why not for breakfast? Spinach salad has some of the constituent parts of the standard North American breakfast: eggs and bacon. It would also help me with my resolution to eat wheat free.
And this is how I started eating salads for breakfast on weekends. My standard breakfast salad is a variation on Smitten Kitchen's spinach salad. It tends to vary with what I have on hand, but it tends to include:
  • a few handfuls of spinach (the one pictured above is with baby kale)
  • a fried egg (why not?) - I like to do mine over hard
  • red onion
  • lots of fresh cracked black pepper
I put bacon in on occasions when I have it, but am happy to do without. I also really like to toss in some strawberry or cherry tomatoes.

For vinaigrette, Jane Hornby's has become my favourite:
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
I tend to improvise in the kitchen. So for instance, I just use 3 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil because that's what I have. I also just put a small spoon-tip of Dijon rather than a whole teaspoon as I found it to be quite hot with the raw garlic. I haven't yet tried it with white wine vinegar.

One thing I'm discovering is how simple it is to mix up a salad dressing from scratch. Until recently, I only knew of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But now I've made Greek salad dressing from scratch. It tastes cleaner, probably because it doesn't have all those extra additives that store bought varieties do. I want to try and make my own Caesar salad dressing, complete with anchovies!

No comments: