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Mid-Winter Lentil Spinach Salad Prune© Vinaigrette
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Kick that mid-winter mid-day slump to the curb with this brilliant lentil spinach salad.
Course: Salad Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 salads
Author: Christine + Gabrielle Hamilton
Ingredients
For the Salad
  • 1 10 ounce bag of unpeeled red pearl onions
  • garlic salt
  • 1 5 ounce clamshell fresh baby spinach you won't use the whole thing
  • 1 cup cooked french lentils
  • 1/2 cup brown butter croutons
For the Prune Vinaigrette
  • 3 cloves fresh firm, sticky cloves garlic, peeled just before using
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups blended olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons water
Instructions
To Prepare the Onions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

  2. Soak onions in warm water for 5 minutes.
  3. With a paring knife, remove ends of onions and peel.
  4. Toss peeled onions well with olive oil and garlic salt on a baking sheet.
  5. Roast, stirring frequently, until tender (about 15 minutes.)
  6. Allow onions to cool.
To Assemble Salad
  1. In four salad bowls, lay a bed of baby spinach.
  2. Top with about a 1/4 cup basic french lentils and as many onions and croutons as you desire.
  3. Dress with Prune© Vinaigrette (recipe follows below.)
For the Prune Vinaigrette
  1. Add garlic and salt to the bowl of a food processor and start it running.
  2. Add the mustard, then the vinegar, and, when the contents of the bowl are fully blended, slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream to emulsify.
  3. Season with pepper.
  4. Stop the motor, taste for balance between acid and salt and garlic, and, with the motor running, add the adjustments as necessary.
  5. **This is not a shy vinaigrette but still, there should be balance - you don't want the attack of the vinegar too forceful or the aggression of the garlic to make anybody sit back uncomfortably. Equally the black pepper needs to be ground to the right flake so that the customer does not end up with half a peppercorn lodged in her tooth, burning away.
  6. **Often, a couple teaspoons of cold water added at the ed brings the whole package into shape - taste-wise and texture-wise. Because some batches of vinegar are mellower than others and because the size and force of garlic cloves vary, adjust as needed by adding oil to calm it if it is too bright, adding a clove of microplaned garlic if it is too subtle, or adding a little water if it is too assertive in general.
Recipe Notes

*EVOO is too strong - use the 70%/30% blended oil.
*Keep ratio 4:1 oil to vinegar

From PRUNE by Gabrielle Hamilton, copyright © 2014 by Gabrielle Hamilton. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC.