March 27, 2008

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette

I used to make this in the Spring at the restaurant I worked at. It was very popular. This has a dressing recipe but at home I would make a Red Onion/Thyme vinegar first to use in the dressing recipe itself. That vinegar also won a First Place ribbon at our local county fair.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette Serves 4

1 bag spinach, washed and large stems removed
1 belgian endive, sliced thinly
1 8oz pkg. fresh ripe strawberries
1 pkg. quail eggs

1/2c. olive oil
1/4c. white wine or champagne vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tb. chopped fresh thyme
1 sm. red onion, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

First cook quail eggs....
1 10-pack fresh quail eggs*
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups ice cubes

1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt

*Quail eggs are available at some supermarkets, farmers' markets, and specialty foods stores Place quail eggs in small saucepan; add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar. Bring to boil. Remove pan from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Add ice cubes to pan; let stand 15 minutes to cool. When cool cover with the vinegar in a glass bowl. You want glass so the vinegar doesn't react with the bowl. Let them sit until the shell becomes like rubber, this makes it easy to shell.Then peel and rinse them well with water.

Wash spinach and drain well. On a plate put spinach leaves, sprinkle with finely sliced Belgian endive. Top with 2-3 strawberries, cut in wedges. Drizzle with dressing and top with a few cooked quail egg halves.

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