Spinach Salad with Chutney Dressing

When we walk in the door in the evening beyond tired and crunched for time, this salad has stepped up for dinner so many times we've lost count. It's made for improvising with what you have on hand: toss in coarsely crushed salted almonds, dried cherries, or Craisins; add slices of leftover chicken breast or grilled shrimp; anything goes.

The salad ingredients can be prepared a day ahead, packaged separately in plastic bags and refrigerated (wash and spin dry the spinach, then wrap in paper towels before putting into bag). Likewise, the dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh spinach, trimmed of tough stems, washed and dried
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion


Chutney Dressing

  • 1/4 cup wine or cider vinegar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Major Grey's Chutney, or other sweet/spicy, chunky chutney
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Instructions

1. In large bowl, toss together the spinach, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bacon, bean sprouts, cheese and onion. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing dressing. Salad will hold well for 8 hours.

2. To make the dressing, combine the vinegar, half the chutney, the garlic, mustard and sugar in food processor or blender and whirl until mixture is smooth. With machine running, slowly pour in the oil until thick and smooth. Add remaining chutney, taste and season, adjusting chutney and/or oil if necessary. Dressing can be made ahead and stored, covered, in refrigerator up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature before adding to salad.

3. To serve, toss salad with dressing until greens are lightly and evenly coated.

Copyright© 2011 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Tags: 
bacon
Prep time: 
20 minutes
Total time: 
20 minutes
Yield: 
4 to 6 servings

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