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Garlic Crostini with Spinach, Mushroom & Parmigiano Salad

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Serves six as a first course, four as a main course.

When buying spinach, look for leaves that are uniformly green and crisp. Avoid those that are wilted, excessively wet, or yellowed. Fresh spinach can be quite gritty, especially the larger bundled leaves, so wash it very carefully.

For the vinaigrette:
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (from about half a lemon)
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from about half a lemon)
  • 1 small shallot, minced (1-1/2 Tbs.)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad and crostini:
  • Six 1/2-inch-thick slices coarse-textured Tuscan-style bread
  • 2 cloves garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling
  • 10 oz. small fresh button mushrooms, stems discarded, caps halved (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, washed and dried (about 6 oz.)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano for shaving
Make the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, seasoning to taste with the salt and pepper.

Make the salad:

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil until crispy and light golden on top, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and broil the other sides until golden, about 1 minute. Rub one side of the toasted bread with the cut sides of the garlic. Sprinkle each slice with a small pinch of salt and set aside.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the mushrooms and stir to coat in the oil. Let the mushrooms cook undisturbed until the liquid they release evaporates and they're deep golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, stir, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most sides are nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes more. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Toss the spinach and vinaigrette in a large bowl. Put the bread slices on four or six plates and drizzle each slice with a little olive oil. Divide the spinach among the plates, arranging it on the top of the bread but leaving part of the bread exposed. Top with the mushrooms. Using a cheese shaver or vegetable peeler, shave a few thin slivers of Parmigiano over the top. Serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 180; Fat (g): fat g 10; Fat Calories (kcal): 90; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1.5; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 20; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 360; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This salad comes together very fast and is very refreshing. Definitely a keeper!

The flavors were perfect together. A lovely mid-week entree for us.

Very nice salad. Served along with Chicken Saltimbocca. Lots of nice subtle flavor from the garlic crostini.

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