Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WDW - Balsamic Spinach Salad with Salmon


One of my favorite restaurants is the Black Cow in Montrose. They have some awesome menu items, a great walk up coffee bar/ice cream counter, and the place just has a great vibe. They have nice patio dining too, which is my favorite on a nice warm day. I especially love their breakfasts, but there is a Spinach Salad on their menu that is topped with salmon and a wonderful balsamic vinaigrette that I really adore. We went there recently, and I ordered it, and then I thought to myself, "I can make this!" I talked to our server about how it is prepared and I learned that the fish is actually cooked in the vinaigrette. Seemed easy enough, so I decided to try it at home. It's really a simple dish to prepare, but one full of flavor and healthy, too.

When I made it, it was just the two of us, so I sauteed one sliced red bell pepper and one sliced red onion on med-high heat in a little olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. While the veggies cooked I made the vinaigrette in the blender(recipe follows). When still slightly crisp tender, I removed the veggies from the skillet, covered them to stay warm, and set them aside. I seasoned my fish with salt and pepper. I then poured out a scant 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette into the same hot skillet, and sauteed the fish in the vinaigrette, on medium high heat, until cooked but still soft. I had thin filets so it was really quick, about 3-4 minutes per side. You want to have the heat up high enough to brown the fish a little, but don't burn it.

While the fish cooked, I started plating my dish. I put down a nice bed of fresh baby spinach on two dinner plates, then distributed the warm veggies and drizzled some vinaigrette over it all. When the salmon was finished, I topped the salads with a nice piece of hot fish, and drizzled a bit more vinaigrette on top. That's it - super easy and super delish! Enjoy!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced(or a small shallot)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried basil (fresh would be better)
salt and pepper

Process all ingredients together in blender, or whisk in a bowl. Adjust oil or vinegar to your liking (I like more balsamic vinegar than most). If it's too acidic, just add a little more olive oil.

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