Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Warm Mediterranean "Pizza" Salad

I got totally addicted to salads this summer.  Unfortunately, come winter, the body craves warm, comfort foods, not cold, refreshing salads.  Rather than abandon my new appreciation of salad, I am going to spend the colder months experimenting with warm salads.

This recipe came to me when I was thinking of what flavours to add to a salad base of baby spinach (one of my favorites).  Instantly I thought of my favorite pizza toppings: spinach, garlic, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese!  Hmm, that could be a salad!

What better way to get all the yummy ingredients in a healthier way than traditional pizza?

Of course, you can take this idea and modify it based on your favorite pizza toppings. 

Not pictured is the cut up sundried tomato and basil chicken sausage I added for extra protein! But keep in vegetarian if you wish and just add chickpeas for extra protein.  Vegan is possible too if you want to use a non-dairy cheese substitute. 

The recipe calls for 2 boxes of spinach (1 per person for a main dish), assuming you are, like me, someone who can easily eat that much spinach.  Keep in mind the warm sauce wilts it a bit! But feel free to half the recipe if you wish.

Warm Mediterranean "Pizza" Salad

1 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Crushed red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
1 can tomato paste
1 cup water
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-5oz boxes organic baby spinach
4 tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled

Saute onion and garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes.  Add olives, tomatoes, vinegar, oregano and chili and continue cooking until onion is soft.  Add tomato paste and water and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Pile spinach onto plate or in a bowl and top with sauce.  Sprinkle with feta cheese (about 2 tbsp. per person).  Serve.  Makes 2 main dishes or serves 4 as a side dish.

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