Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wilted spinach salad with tomato coulis {gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian}


Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. This month, we celebrate Recipes from the Garden!  Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you're welcome to join us next time, or if you have a previously published recipe you'd like to share, add it to the linky below.




This is one in a series of guest posts by other bloggers. Read to the end for a longer biographical note on today's guest blogger, my partner and husband, Crackerdog Sam.

Since the carnival is about using up our garden produce, I considered the elements we've always had in (over)abundance — tomatoes, spinach, garlic, and sweet onion — and had Sam share a yummy recipe that uses all four! Enjoy.

Wilted spinach salad with tomato coulis == grain-free, vegetarian = Hobo Mama

Guest post by Crackerdog Sam

A couple years ago, Lauren and I ate at a crepe restaurant where the star of the dish was something called "tomato coulis," which we'd never had before. I looked for it in stores, but couldn't find any pre-made, and when I looked up recipes online there was a vast array of options people were calling "coulis," from versions akin to chunky soup to versions resembling a smooth ketchup. Ours was more like a coarse pesto, which I couldn't find a duplicate for.

So after a great deal of experimentation, combining this and that technique, I have perfected my favorite version of coulis, which works equally well as a salad topping (presented here), a salsa (with chips), a sandwich spread (on patty melts), and a pasta sauce (over cheese tortellini). I also really like using it in a spicy version of tuna salad but using tilapia, a little mayo, and coulis. It acts just like a tuna salad would (you can do sandwiches, or casseroles, or eat it in lettuce leaves) but is much more interesting.

Coulis is a garlicky, sweet, salty and tangy intense flavor that's great to have on hand to liven up a dish.

Salad ingredients (serves 4):

  • 9 oz spinach
  • a few drizzles olive oil
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup (or more) tomato coulis

Coulis ingredients (makes 2 cups, so store the leftovers in a jar in the fridge):

  • 3 oz package sun-dried tomato halves, dry packed
  • about 24 medium-sized leaves basil (leaves from a 1.5 oz bunch)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup minced sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Dietary/allergy notes:

Vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, nut-free, sweetener-free. Leave off the feta to have it dairy-free, vegan, and paleo.

Wilted spinach salad with tomato coulis == grain-free, vegetarian = Hobo Mama

Instructions:

1) Layer the ingredients in a food processor, then pulse until the sun-dried tomatoes are chopped well, and the mixture is about the consistency of pesto. (These pictures are of a quarter batch, when I was testing; you'll have much more than this in your bowl.)

Wilted spinach salad with tomato coulis == grain-free, vegetarian = Hobo Mama

2) Let sit in refrigerator for two hours to let the flavors absorb. (Note that my recipe is rather garlicky and spicy. If you prefer a milder flavor, use 1 garlic clove and 1/4 tsp crushed pepper.)

Wilted spinach salad with tomato coulis == grain-free, vegetarian = Hobo Mama

3) To make the salad, separate spinach into two stainless steel pans (or you could use two shallow baking sheets, or whatever you have on hand), drizzle with a little olive oil, and toss. Add feta, and broil in the oven for 8-10 minutes or so until spinach wilts and feta is warmed.

Wilted spinach salad with tomato coulis == grain-free, vegetarian = Hobo Mama

Wilted spinach salad with tomato coulis == grain-free, vegetarian = Hobo Mama

4) Plate the spinach/feta mixture, top with 1/4 avocado each, and add a generous amount of coulis. (If serving as a main course, you can add protein by cooking four hamburgers, slicing each one into strips, and plating one underneath each salad.) Serve and enjoy!

Wilted spinach salad with tomato coulis == grain-free, vegetarian = Hobo Mama


two matching boys — dad, baby and brother in dinosaur t-shirtsCrackerdog Sam (that's his hobo name) is a full-time work-from-home parent.

He shares both the working and the parenting of six-year-old Mikko and two-year-old Alrik with Lauren of Hobo Mama.

He is the resident chef extraordinaire and does all the family's (delicious) cooking.



Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other Festival of Food participants. The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants are all in different time zones.

Stay connected! Be sure to "Like" the Festival of Food Carnival Facebook page.


4 comments:

Destany Fenton said...

This looks delicious! I've never had a coulis of any type, but this would certainly be up my alley. I love the versatility!

Amy Rhime said...

I love spinach salads, and this one looks so good. Thanks for the recipe, Sam!

Luschka said...

That recipe includes a vast amount of my favourite ingredients. It's definitely going on my must-do list! Thank you Sam & Lauren!
Thanks for joining the Festival of Food Carnival!

Hector Ybarra said...

I actually made this salad for my mom, and a few other family members, they loved it, =)
I also bout a recipe book from the internet that I used to make salads, and other things I never would have thought my friends, or family would eat lol but they liked it, you can read a review and checke it out here

http://myeverydayliving101.blogspot.com/

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