This simple yet sophisticated salad with spinach, a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and homemade croutons was part of the Mother’s Day menu that I created for Vegetarian Times last Spring. Using leftover oil from jarred sundries tomatoes gives the dressing lots of flavor without much effort. The toasty, crunchy croutons make this salad a real stand out.
To soften stale bread before cutting, wrap it in a damp paper towel and microwave for 10 seconds. The croutons can be made up to a week in advance, and the dressing will keep for 2 days in the fridge.
- 1/2 baguette, cut into 1” cubes (3 cups)
- 2 Tbs. oil from jarred sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced (1/2 tsp.)
- 1 Tbs. chopped sun-dried tomatoes (3 tomato halves)
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 4 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. agave nectar or honey
- 5 oz. baby spinach (4 cups)
- To make croutons: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss together bread cubes, oil from tomatoes and olive oil until bread is well coated; place on prepared baking sheet in single layer. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until croutons are crisp and golden brown.
- To make vinaigrette: Blend garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, vinegars, oil and agave nectar in food processor until mostly smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Toss together spinach and vinaigrette in bowl. Top with croutons, and serve immediately.
Photo credit: Vegetarian Times