Now that the weather has sweetened and the grass has greened Trooper the Wonder Puppy and I have been spending a lot more time outside. It seems that we are of one mind about this May weather being much more clement than past months. It’s just so nice out! (When it isn’t raining…)
Trooper has developed a really adorable habit on our walks. Dandelions are his enemy. When he comes across them in his path he pounces on them and gets all snarly bounding and leaping from weed to weed, biting off the blooms, leaving the wreckage behind him.
What dandelions ever did to him, I don’t think I’ll ever know, but he sure is adorable in the process. Trooper the Wonder Puppy is a friend to gardeners and a scourge to the dandelion population.
Trooper is also very interested in salads when they smell like bacon.
Spinach and Bacon Salad with Pickled Red Onion and Feta
For the onions:
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
pinch of salt
1 large red onion
For the salad:
8 slices of bacon
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
12 ounces spinach
6 ounces feta cheese
- Pickle the onions first. This can be done a day ahead. In a small saucepan, boil together the sugar, apple cider vinegar, sriracha, salt and pepper.
- Cut the onion into very thin rounds (if you have a mandoline, this is the perfect time for it.
- Add the onion to the pickling liquid and continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
- Cook the bacon in a pan, reserving 1 Tbsp of the fat once finished.
- Dice the bacon.
- Whip up a vinaigrette using the reserved bacon fat, vinegar, olive oil and dijon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss the spinach with the vinaigrette, and then garnish it with the cooked bacon, crumbled feta cheese and some slivers of pickled red onion.
This recipe gives you way more of the pickled red onion than you need to use in the salad. It’s been really tasty to sneak into other salads, and sandwiches as well. The difference a quick pickle can make, yum! Just store what’s left of your pickled red onions in a jar in the fridge.
Normally, I’m a stickler for a salad having good toothsome crunch, and spinach isn’t really the green to use for that. Still, this salad brings together smoky, sour, sweet, salty, and briny flavors perfect for an (almost) summer day.
Mr says that the pickled red onions go really well with the vinaigrette.
This time last year: Sour Cream Ice Cream
And the year before: Roasted Butternut Squash
Posted by Dana under Savory
It’s a little bit strange to look back at it, but today is the hundredth post at The Funky Kitchen. Adding a triple digit feels both an accomplishment and anticlimactic. Either way, it’s been a lot of fun cooking up a storm and getting to know the blogging community, so here’s to the next hundred posts!
Because we are celebrating, I thought we should have some tasty nibble-y party food. Try some spanakopita!
(a recipe adapted from Dorothy Minish’s Spanakopita)
10 oz fresh spinach
1/2 Cup fresh parsley
1/4 Cup fresh dill
1 Cup cottage cheese
2 garlic cloves
1 Cup feta cheese
1- 1 lb package phyllo pastry
1 Cup butter
- Finely chop all of your greens: the spinach, parsley and dill.
- Place the cottage cheese in a strainer set over a bowl, so that some of the moisture will drip away.
- Chop the onion and garlic cloves and saute in a pan over medium heat until the onions go translucent (~5 minutes).
- To the chopped greens, add the eggs and drained cottage cheese as well as the onion mixture. Next, crumble in the feta cheese.
- Mix everything together, this will be the spanakopita filling. Set it over a strainer so that excess moisture can drain. (Note: As an alternative, you can leave the filling as is and mix into it a 1/2 Cup of uncooked rice. The rice will absorb moisture while the spanakopita is baking and cook through.)
- Remove the phyllo from it’s package, and cover it with a damp tea towel while you aren’t using it so that it will not dry out as you work.
- Melt your butter.
- Cut the stack of phyllo into 4 or 5 lengthwise strips.
- Working one strip at a time, brush butter over your piece of phyllo pastry. (Or roll it on with a small foam roller that you haven’t used for anything else.) Spoon about a half tablespoon of the filling onto one end of the phyllo strip, and bundle it up as follows:
- Repeat, repeat… and repeat some more.
The recipe made 2 pans like this
- Bake your spanakopita in a 350° oven for ~18 minutes until it is golden brown.
- Serve to your hungry guests!
Fun fact of the day: Spanakopita is technically a type of pie. That makes me love it all the more.
The crispness of phyllo, earthiness of spinach and briny tang of feta cheese are hard to go wrong with. I brought these to Mr’s choir round up and they simply disappeared! I’m all for substitutions, but I’m going to include a note that came with the recipe:
Use fresh spinach, not frozen, for this recipe. For people who think it’s too much trouble to clean and sort through fresh spinach, Dorothy advises that if the spinach you have requires anything more than rinsing it isn’t of good enough quality to bother with anyway.
Mr says: It’s fun to eat food that has a cool name and that spanakopita is super tasty. He even helped me fold these little parcels of tastiness up, so thanks Mr for the assistance!