Forager’s Spinach salad

Sometimes dinner is merely a formality to make dessert socially acceptable, don’t you agree? This afternoon I baked the most perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies and am dying to tuck into them during True Blood tonight but I decided it would be a good idea to get some nutrients in first. I just got back from vacation in Canada and really can’t be bothered to cook something elaborate, so this is what I came up with.

Forager’s Spinach Salad
3 cups of spinach
2 tbsp walnuts
4 baby Bella mushrooms
Handful tomatoes (preferably fresh from the garden)
A few springs micro basil
1 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1 slice fresh sourdough
1 clove garlic

1) Roughly chop spinach. Who wants to deal with a huge leaf when eating a casual salad?

2) Lightly toast and chop walnuts. Add to salad.

3) Finely chop baby portabella mushrooms and add to salad. Chopping raw mushrooms is a sneaky way to add texture and nutrients to your salad without drawing much attention to the mushrooms the way slices would. If you aren’t a fan of raw mushrooms (I’m not), try chopping them teeny tiny! Slice tomatoes in half and add to salad. Chop a thick slice of cheese into little bits. That way, you get a little cheese with each bite! Tear basil. Add cheese and basil to salad and toss.

4) Add a bit of butter and olive oil (we’re talking 1/2 tbsp of each, max) to a pan heated to medium-low. Carefully cut your sourdough into bite-size pieces. Add to pan. Shake a bit if herb de Provence over the bread, or whatever dried herb combo strikes your fancy. Grind a bit of sea salt over the bread. Keep watching and turning the croutons. When the bread needs just a minute or so more, chop a clove of garlic and add to the pan. The flavor will knock your socks off! Add the contents of the pan to the salad, including the garlic. This is not for the garlic faint of heart. I for one could never date a vampire (sorry, Edward!) because I adore garlic.

5) Toss with your favorite oil-based dressing. I chose the Greek dressing from Whole Foods. Delicious! I love the earthiness of the walnuts and mushrooms paired with the creaminess of cheddar and punch of garlic. This little salad packs a lot of flavor punch into one bowl!

Now, who wants dessert?

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