It's funny. We eat a salad every day and I'm a fan of wilted salads, and yet strangely I've only ever managed to make exactly two. One involves spinach and a hot tomato dressing that nowadays doesn't contain the bacon it would have when I was younger (ahem), and the other involves various sauteed mushrooms, fresh herbs when available, and butter lettuce. No recipes involved, I just mix the neccessary ingredients until I like the flavor of what's in the pan.
But there I was yesterday and reading through Marcella Hazan's Cucina
looking for inspiration--I had a rack of lamb ready to go and a tub of spinach for a side dish, but I sincerely wanted Italian food. And most of all, I didn't want to prepare the Same Old Thing. A recipe for a vegetable side dish of sauteed garlic, mushrooms and jerusalem artichokes* caught my eye. It was wildly odd that I had both fresh mushrooms and jerusalem artichokes on hand, but I did. So I thought I'd make that for a side dish instead, which freed the spinach up for a salad and then somehow:
. I made a modest serving of her dish, added white wine vinegar and extra salt and pepper, and while the mixture was hot I put a few handfuls of spinach on top, turned once or twice to barely mix, then served. We loved it. All three of the main items have earthy flavors that compliment each other and blend seamlessly.
Now I'm going to go check Epicurious and a few other places for wilted salad recipes. My repertoire definitely needs expanding.
*I brought these back from my stay in Pullman. Strangely, since these seem so exotic and there's nothing otherwise exotic about produce in eastern Washington, they were quite plentiful in all the grocery stores. Not in little specialty bags from Frieda's either, but big open bins of them, like potatoes. They're clearly popular, probably because the sunflower that produces the tuber would be a good local crop.