I’ve been craving salads lately. With fresh snow falling outside and the market offering comfort in the form of potoatoes and squashes, all I can think of are heaping bowls of luscious garden greens: mâche, arugula, lettuce, endives, escarole… And since I take my cravings very seriously, this morning, I tossed together an original salad to go with our traditional week-end lunch.
I first tried it at a restaurant several years ago (alas, it is no more, and instantaneously fell in love with the combination of sweet baby spinach, crunchy cornichons, and chewy raisins. (If you like sweet and sour combinations, you’ll love it, too!) I’ve reinterpreted it several times at home, and this time I added some juice by making a special dressing to go along with it. I like that this salad isn’t entirely out of season, as it only uses one fresh ingredient – perfect for satisfying unseasonable cravings!
Baby Spinach, Cornichon, and Raisin Salad with Secret Ingredient Dressing
Really, this is a no-brainer. In a large bowl, toss together baby spinach, roughly chopped cornichons, and dark raisins (I like to soak mine in boiling water for a few seconds to make them softer and juicier). For the dressing, stir 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp mayonnaise, and 1 tbsp olive oil vigorously in a small bowl to combine. The secret ingredient is the cornichon brine. Add 1 tbsp or more, depending on how thick you want your dressing, and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with the salad.
You can change up the salad by using mâche instead of spinach and/or adding chopped sun-dried tomatoes for extra texture and added saltiness. Serve with a fluffy spinach omelette and some crisp bread.