Wilted Spinach Salad

Photo: Richard Gerhard Jung

It is much healthier, and just as flavorful, to wilt the spinach in a salad with a warm beet dressing instead of hot bacon dressing.


  • 1 red onion, sliced into ¼-inch rings

  • 2 to 3 slices whole-grain bread, cubed

  • ½ pound beets (about 2 small beets)

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard

  • ¼ cup red-wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 12 ounces spinach, well washed, stems removed

  • 4 ounces button mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a bowl with ice and water; add onion; let sit for 30 minutes. Drain, and set aside. Place bread on a baking tray; toast, tossing occasionally, until golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes; set croutons aside to cool.

  2. Place beets in a small saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain; cool until able to handle. Peel, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes; set aside.

  3. While beets are cooking, make dressing: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Whisk in honey mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Reduce heat to low; keep dressing warm. Add cooked beet cubes to dressing, and stir to coat.

  4. Place onions, spinach, and mushrooms in a bowl. Drizzle with warm dressing; toss to coat evenly. Garnish with croutons. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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