Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shallot dressing for spinach salad

Do you eat enough greens?

If you're like most people, including me, probably not. Which is why I have started keeping large containers of baby spinach on hand. (Once my spinach comes up in the garden, hopefully I can give the containers a bit of a rest!)

I have two favorite ways to use the spinach:

1) Green breakfast smoothies
2) Spinach salad

The spinach salad has become my go-to side dish when I need one (I'm a big fan of incorporating the veggies into the main dish for a one-dish dinner, like this one, but sometimes you just need to have separate sides). Often, I make a true spinach salad, with dried fruit, seeds and cheese. But more often, I just dump a bunch of spinach in a bowl and toss it with this shallot dressing: my half-assed spinach salad.

But the dressing is so good, it's enough all on its own.

I try to keep a jar of this dressing in the fridge pretty much at all times now. If I heat up some leftovers for lunch and it lacks veggies, I make myself a little half-assed side salad. If I'm in the middle of making dinner and just don't have the energy left to tackle the side dish I had planned, I scrap it and make my half-assed spinach salad.

So I guess I should have called this "Half-Assed Shallot Dressing" but that's not fair; the salad is half-assed, not the dressing.

The dressing is simple, creamy and tangy-sweet -- and a breeze to prepare.

Do you have any half-assed shortcut side dishes? The Ninj wants to know.

Shallot Dressing
(makes about 1 cup)

Scant 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 medium shallots, peeled and chopped
4 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Whirl all the ingredients in a food processor or blend them together in a container with a hand blender until smooth. Store in a the refrigerator.


  1. My whole repetoire is pretty much half-assed. :-)

    Nobody in my family eats many veggies, so I try to include fruit as a side with most meals. I also like cucumbers and tomatoes with a little italian dressing. During the summer I do mom's standard zucchini in olive oil with a can of petite diced tomatoes.

    Lately I've been hooked on those steam-in-the-bag frozen veggies or rice. I love those, since they're easy to keep on hand and you just throw the whole bag in the microwave.
    Can't get more half-assed than that!

    1. Hey, you do what you can to get them to eat *something*, right?!

  2. I also try to keep those containers of greens on hand. A quick and easy side dish is always a salad. Love this dressing!

    1. Let me know what you think of it if you try it, Pam.

  3. Wow. I just made a Shallot Vinaigret with honey! I'll share once I get my post up :)

    1. Sounds great -- you could easily swap honey for the sugar in this recipe as well.

  4. This dressing sounds great! We usually have a standard red wine-dijon vinaigrette kicking around, but I'm thinking I may need to start up a dressing rotation... :)

  5. Lately I've been grilling slices of green cabbage. With just a little spritz of cooking spray on the grill pan, and a pinch of salt on the cabbage, it cooks up to a sweet and delicious side veggie.
    Definitely going to have to try this dressing though, it sounds delicious and perfect for half-assed spring salads!

    1. We grill romaine all the time -- now I'll have to try cabbage!