Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spinach Salad with Roasted Cherry Tomato Dressing

I have to admit something, internet.  I do not like grapes.  I know this is very wrong of me, that people go ape over grapes, that they are the classic summertime snack.  I just don't like them.  They make my stomach hurt and I think they are blander than a beige painting on a taupe wall.

However.  I love me some cherry tomatoes.  Lest you think this is a bizarre tangent, think for a moment, please, on the size and shape of grapes and cherry tomatoes.  Pretty much the exact same, right?  Yet grapes, in all their spherical glory, really gross me out.  

Now some cherry tomatoes ... oh my.  I cannot imagine a life on this earth without them - I can easily put away a pint in two minutes flat.  Pop pop popping them in my mouth one at a time until they're gone, they are my grapes.  But cherry tomatoes are better than grapes in so many ways - bet you can't make this delicious salad dressing with a pint of grapes, now can you!  Ha!

A lot of foodie bloggers in the internet world always talk about their "simple, easy, go-to recipes."  I tend to be rather wary of statements such as those, as typically those simple, easy recipes end up involving bizarre ingredients never found in my pantry.  But this dressing?  Cherry tomatoes.  Olive oil.  Salt, pepper, vinegar.  Couldn't be easier.  Nor could it be more delicious.

Spinach Salad with Roasted Cherry Tomato Dressing

adapted from me, boo ya!  This recipe will make one salad for one hungry person.  Multiply accordingly.


Couple of handfuls of washed baby spinach
Two pieces of bacon, cooked to perfection, crumbled (Did J Fierce ever tell you about how she cooks bacon for the week and brings pieces of it to work in a plastic baggie?  That shit is weird, I'm telling you.)
Couple of spoonfuls of toasted, chopped walnuts
2 - 4 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
One pint cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Cider vinegar
White wine vinegar


First, make your salad dressing: Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, crimping it up around the edges (so nothing will spill and then you don't have to wash the baking sheet, yes, I am a genius).  Place the cherry tomatoes in the pan and drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil, tossing to coat.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and roast 30-40 minutes, until they are bursting and browned.  Toss a few times during roasting in order to brown evenly.

Remove the pan from the oven, and toss the cherry tomatoes immediately so they don't stick to the foil.  (You can eat some of the crispier bits at this point, I won't tell.)  Let the tomatoes cool to room temperature, about 15-20 minutes.

Using a blender (stick or classic), blend the tomatoes, including all the juices and oil, until smooth.  Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of olive oil in a steady stream to emulsify.  Add a few splashes of cider vinegar and white wine vinegar to taste, and salt and pepper. 
Toss all ingredients with dressing and enjoy the simplest, easiest, go-to recipe I know.

PS: This is also a great dip, just add less olive oil and dip veggies to your heart's content just like Mama Fierce taught us.

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