Monday, April 11, 2011

Warm Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Mushrooms

When people find out I'm from Buffalo, they always want to know which city's weather is worse, my current hometown of Milwaukee or the one I grew up in? In case you've been wondering, Milwaukee is colder (bone-chilling, really), but Buffalo gets (much) more snow. So, which is worse? You decide: Would you pick cold or snow?

Needless to say, in both cities, spring is often chilly and dreary. Lots of clouds, rain, and wind. This weekend, though, the weather in Milwaukee finally took a positive turn. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, and it was, get this, EIGHTY DEGREES. Yep, 8-0. Glorious.

As the weather warms, my interest in salads always seems to pick up. With that in mind, I'm sharing a hearty salad. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed reading on my front porch wearing shorts. In other words, lots.

Warm Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Mushrooms
Adapted from Great Food Fast by Everyday Food
Serves: 4

1/4 cup red wine vinegar, plus more for serving
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper
2 pounds sliced baby portobello mushrooms*
1.5 cups quinoa
3 cups water
1 pound baby spinach
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Heat the broiler and adjust an oven rack to about 4" from the heat source. In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the mushrooms with the vinaigrette and spread on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Broil, stirring several times, until the mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa, water, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. If the quinoa is looking too water-logged, remove the lid for the last several minutes of cooking.

Place the spinach in a large bowl and top with hot mushrooms and quinoa. Drizzle with extra olive oil and vinegar to taste. Sprinkle the crumbled feta on top and serve.

*You'll probably be thinking, "There's no way I'll need all these mushrooms." But they shrink waaaaaaay down in size. You'll be glad you used the whole 2 pounds.


  1. live in nyc now but from chicago so i know that in your bones cold of the midwest. but i miss it :-) so would take it any day over the snow :-)

  2. Suzy, my "favorite" thing about the cold is when you get a brain freeze from going out side without a hat. Apparently that doesn't just happen when you drink a slurpee too fast!

  3. This looks soo delicious and very healthy! Loving your blog by the way, on my way to check out your other yummy recipes! Glad to be a follower :)