Wilted spinach salad

This salad has been on the menu since the restaurant opened and is still a favourite we make every day. The spinach is tossed with very hot olive oil, which cooks it slightly, sweetening and softening the leaves. As the feta cheese and the olives are both salty, no additional salt is needed.

Makes 2 large or 4-6 small salads


  • red onion 1 small, quartered and thinly sliced
  • Baguette 3 to 4 slices per person, for croutons
  • olive oil 6 tbsp
  • kalamata olives 8 to 12
  • spinach 450g
  • garlic 1 clove, finely chopped
  • (mint leaves 1 tbsp, finely chopped)
  • sherry vinegar 2 tbsp
  • Feta cheese 175g


  • Preheat the oven to 180C fan/gas mark 6. Cover the onion slices with cold water and refrigerate until needed. Brush the bread with some of the olive oil and toast it in the oven until it is crisp and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Press the olives to split them open, take out the stones, and cut or tear the olives in two. Remove the spinach stems (or not, as you prefer) and discard any bruised or yellow leaves. Cut the large leaves into halves or thirds; small leaves can be left whole.
  • Wash the spinach, using two changes of water if the spinach is very sandy, and spin dry.
  • When you are ready to make the salad, drain the onions. Put the spinach in a large metal bowl and toss it with the onions, garlic, mint, olives and vinegar. Break up the cheese and crumble it over the spinach.
  • Heat the rest of the olive oil until it is very hot but just short of smoking. Immediately pour it over the salad,turning the leaves with a pair of metal tongs so that the hot oil coats and wilts as many leaves as possible. Taste, and season with more vinegar if needed. Serve the salad with the croutons tucked in and around the leaves.

This salad could be accompanied with a moderately dry riesling, or perhaps a zinfandel or beaujolais.

Variations: instead of using only spinach, combine it with curly endive, escarole or thinly sliced red cabbage – all leaves that respond well to being prepared in this way.

recipes/wilted_spinach_salad.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/19 11:26 by mcf
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