Wilted spinach salad walks the line between raw and Popeye-cooked spinach–you want to keep the integrity of the spinach leaves, just slightly wilted. Classic wilted spinach salad calls for hot bacon dressing and hard boiled eggs. Thanks to the Kerrygold cheese and butter people for the distinctive warm lentil preparation.
½ cup French green lentils
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon Real Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup very thinly sliced red onion
8 ounces fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 tablespoon balsamic or sherry wine vinegar
3 tablespoons toasted pecans halves
Aged Kerrygold Cheddar cheese, optional
Rinse the lentils, sorting out any mini rocks. Put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with water at least 2 inches above the lentils. Add the bay leaf and salt and bring to a boil. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them or they will loose their shape and texture. Drain, discarding the bay leaf. Toss with about half of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Warm a non-stick skillet over very low heat. Add the remaining olive oil, and the red onions. Stir, keeping the heat low. Add the spinach leaves and lentils, all at once. Sprinkle on the vinegar and pecans. Gently toss until the spinach is just wilted and lightly coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among individual serving plates. For the Kerrygold finish, shave the cheese, using a vegetable peeler, to garnish the top of the spinach and lentils . Serve immediately.
Makes 2 to 4 servings.