Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Fresh spinach topped with a Mediterranean blend of food treasures, dressed up with a homemade blood orange vinaigrette.
Blood Orange Vinaigrette
- 4 slices bacon
- 1⁄2 medium shallot, finely minced
- 1⁄2 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 3⁄4 cup blood orange juice
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 6 ounces raspberry preserves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1⁄2 cups vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- 10 ounces fresh spinach
- 1⁄4 cup sun-dried tomato, packed in
- olive oil, diced
- 4 artichokes, halves jarred sliced in half
- 8 -10 kalamata olives, pitted
- 1⁄4 cup capers, rinsed
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1⁄2 blood orange, sectioned
- 1⁄4 cup asiago cheese, grated
- Vinaigrette: Cook 4 strips bacon until crispy. Remove from pan and reserve. Discard 1/2 of bacon drippings.
- Saute shallot and garlic until translucent. Add honey, cayenne pepper, white wine and brandy. Turn heat to high. Bring to simmer.
- Add blood orange juice, raspberry preserves and sugar. Turn heat down to medium, add thyme and rosemary and reduce by half. Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove thyme and rosemary stems.
- To food processor, add reserved bacon, raspberry reduction and apple cider vinegar. Process 1 minute.
- With motor running, slowly add oil in slow steady stream. When all the oil is in, stop motor and scrape down sides with spatula.
- Season with salt and pepper. Makes 2 cups.
- Salad: Place spinach on large platter. Arrange remaining ingredients over spinach and toss with 1 cup vinaigrette.
Most of the stars are for creativity--it's a lovely idea of a salad. I had some problems with the dressing however. I understand it was for the contest but for me the brandy was entirely unnecessary. Plus, after reduction, I had about 1/4 cup of liquid. Adding a half cup of vinegar and 1 and a half cups of oil seemed way too much, especially with oil packed tomatoes. I used a smaller amount of the vinegar and a much smaller amount of the oil and had a dressing that was a bit too sweet for my taste. I think a bit of reconfiguration of the dressing liquids, and perhaps a bit of the grated rind from the orange to cut the sweetness wwould make for a quite good dressing. Also I think fresh rasberries would add the tart sweetness that's missing. As for the salad , quite nice--I added some roasted sweet peppers and some currants.