I'm just going to slip back in here...long time no see!
I went looking for some ideas for spinach salad the other night . We eat a LOT of spinach and I have many favorite combinations that we have over and over. But I was kind of hoping for something a little different so I looked on epicurious and found this recipe. As luck would have it I had pretty much everything it called for on hand (except cucumbers and it was just fine without them).
I'll admit I was a little hesitant once I made the dressing because that smoked paprika flavor was really strong and I just wasn't sure how that would blend with everything. But it was delicious (and really, I don't think it would be worth making the dressing without the smoked paprika - regular paprika just wouldn't do the trick). We typically dress our salads with just balsamic vinegar and a spritz of oil so I don't like a lot of oil in my dressing. I ended up using a 50/50 mix instead of the 2:1 ratio the original recipe called for. We really loved this salad - I was getting thumbs up while we all ate. In fact liked it so much it got me back on here to blog it!
Quinoa, Garbanzo and Spinach Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained
10 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 15- to 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained
¾ pint container small cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup (packed) fresh mint leaves. cut into thin ribbons
3 oz coarsely crumbled feta cheese , divided
1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
1 ¼ teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 cup olive oil
Place quinoa in large saucepan; add 1 ½ cups water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, 15 to 16 minutes. Drain. Chill until cool.
Meanwhile, combine spinach leaves, garbanzos, halved tomatoes, mint leaves, and half of feta cheese in extra-large bowl. Add cooled quinoa and toss gently to blend.
Whisk vinegar and smoked paprika in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining feta over.
adapted from epicurious.com - Bon Appetit July 2010