Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Caramelized Onion and Hazelnut Salad

This one comes from dear Rachael Ray and her cookbook "2,4,6,8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds." I have Rachael and her TV shows to thank for getting me through lots and lots of feedings when my kids were infants and for teaching me that its okay to wing it and improvise in the kitchen sometimes. Watching her cook has given me the confidence to build recipes on my own, and has supplied me with an endless list of yummy recipes I'm still dying to try. This is one of my faves...perfect as a side or a main dish when topped with some chicken.
  • 1/2 cup whole peeled hazelnuts
  • 6 TBL extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 TBL balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 TBL Dijon mustard
  • 3 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 large cups baby spinach or another green of your choice
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Preheat oven to 325. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes; your nose will know when they are done. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. When cool, run your knife through them once to coarsely chop them.

While the nuts are toasting up, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 TBL olive oil. Add the onions, season with a little salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Add 1 TBL of the balsamic vinegar and a big splash of water. Continue to cook about 1 minute, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove the onions from the pan and transfer to a bowl; stir in the remaining vinegar and the mustard. In a slow, steady stream, which the remaining 4 TBL olive oil into the onion dressing.

In a salad bowl, combine the tomatoes, baby spinach, chopped hazelnuts, and the blue cheese crumbles. Pour the caramelized onion dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 2.

Notes: This salad becomes a delicious meal when topped with grilled, sliced chicken breast. You can also substitute pecans or walnuts, if you can't find hazelnuts. And if you're feeding any more than a few people, I would suggest doubling the recipe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this one, Allison! It sounds delicious!