Monday, October 21, 2013

Mediterranean Pepper and Spinach Salad

Friends of ours recently had a baby. We are not really baby people, and of course we want to help out so we're sticking with what we know. We can offer dog sitting and lots of food! Not really knowing what to cook for new parents, I googled and found that I should send over complete meals, preferably consisting of comfort food, that can be eaten right away or reheated easily. I made the Pioneer Woman's baked ziti, this pepper and spinach salad and a lemon yogurt blueberry cake.

I wanted a salad that wouldn't get soggy if they didn't want to eat it right away, but I also didn't want them to have to go the trouble of dressing and tossing it. So this salad is perfect because the peppers are dressed and continue to marinate and soak up the great flavors. When you're ready to serve you just throw it on top of a bed of spinach. You could also eat this plain without any greens. You can add feta cheese or cherry tomatoes too if you want. (My meal was already pretty cheesy so I skipped the feta, but cheese always makes everything better so you should seriously consider it!)

Mediterranean Pepper and Spinach Salad
Slightly Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons sugar
1/2 a red onion
4 bell peppers, your choice of colors (I used what we had left from the garden + a green, yellow and red pepper)
1 English cucumber, peeled
1/2 cup pitted kalmata olives
1/4 cup olive oil
Baby spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Dice red onion into 1/4" pieces. Mix red wine vinegar, water, salt and sugar in small bowl. Whisk until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add red onion and set aside.

Core and seed bell peppers. Cut into 1/2" pieces. Cut cucumber into 1/2" pieces. Slice olives in half. Put cut peppers, cucumber and olives in large bowl. Drain onions, reserving liquid, and add to the bowl. Pour a quarter cup of the vinegar mixture over the vegetables in the large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste (the vinegar mixture is already salty so taste before you season.) Lightly toss. Let flavors meld together for a couple of hours in the fridge.

Before serving, let the pepper mixture come to room temperature. Serve over baby spinach.

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