I’ve always thought of salads as insubstantial, not something to make in the evening, which is when I eat my largest meal. So when Lindsey from Lost in Cheeseland sent me her spinach salad recipe for Tuesday dinner, I immediately started planning the snack I’d eat two hours later. But to my surprise, her version was so packed with wholesome, satisfying ingredients that I left the table feeling simultaneously virtuous and well-nourished.
Here are some things Lindsey loves: baking and eating cookies, drinking coffee (especially at Télescope Café!), and a good balade around Paris. She is a writer and blogger who contributes regularly to the T magazine website. She also maintains a gorgeous blog where she shares tips on Paris, bonnes adresses, as well as stories about being an American expat in France. She lives in Paris with her often-hungry, rock-climbing French husband, Cédric, their kitty Cali, and — if today’s recipe is any indication — a refrigerator full of fresh, crisp salad greens…
by Lindsey Tramuta
It’s no secret that I enjoy baking — everything from cookies and brownies to muffins and sweet breads — but in the last year I’ve hit a wall when it comes to cooking. Be it from an ever demanding work schedule during the week or depleted culinary inspiration, I’ve been more interested in dining out than making something fresh at home. My husband’s hectic work week does not generally lend itself to elaborate cooking either so we aim for simple but hearty (he is always ravenous by the time he walks through the door!). Tuesday night is slightly less chaotic than Monday but not enough to make us want to spend too much time in the kitchen!
Salads, either with mixed greens, grains or pasta, are our go-to meals when we don’t feel like investing too much time into what we make. We pack them full of vegetables and protein to keep us sated and have a loaf of bucheron (country bread) on hand to pair with a slice of aged Comté for dessert. The ingredients we include vary by season but this summer that often included spinach, grilled peppered chicken, crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, crushed walnuts and a basil vinaigrette. This recipe below is a slight variation for autumn!
Early Autumn salad
Note: As Lindsey says, “quantities are hardly an exact science” and, in fact, that’s the beauty of this recipe — you can mix and match with whatever you have on hand. I did love her secret ingredient — wheat germ — which adds a warm, toasty flavor and satisfying crunch. “Toasting it brings out the nutty flavor which is great atop salads like this one,” says Lindsey. “But if blending within a recipe, it’s best untoasted since it’s quite bland.” I learned the hard way to be very careful when toasting the stuff — it burns in a flash. If you have any browned nuts, wheat germ and honey left over, they make a delicious breakfast topping for Greek yogurt.
Sliced chicken breasts, grilled with olive oil and herbs (or hard boiled eggs if we don’t have chicken on hand)
About 8 ounces of spinach
1/4-1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup sliced toasted walnuts or pecans
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Honey-balsamic vinaigrette
Optional: Wheat germ sprinkled once salad has been tossed
This is Cali and she approves this recipe.
(All non-salad photos, courtesy of Lindsey Tramuta. Photo of Lindsey, credit Ashley Ludaescher.)
P.S. More Tuesday dinner