Monday, March 22, 2010

Spinach Salad w/ Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, & Bratwurst Vinaigrette

This recipe works wonderfully with Chorizo, but my favorite sausage is Bratwurst, so I couldn't resist the temptation. The caramelized onions add a sweetness that compliments the spicy Bratwurst; while the mushrooms add a meaty flavor to the light acidic vinaigrette. The hearty flavors in this salad are perfect alongside a spiced apple cider on a winter's night or an ice-cold beer on a warm summer's evening.
1/2 lb. Bratwurst, casing removed
1/4 lb. Mushrooms, sliced
1 Red Onion, sliced
2 Tbsp. C. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp. Sugar
1/2 lb. Spinach

Heat olive oil over medium high heat until smoking. Saute mushrooms, about 4 minutes, or until golden. While the mushrooms are cooking, cut the sausage out of the casing and discard the casing. Remove the mushrooms, reserving the oil.

Crumble the sausage meat and add to the pan. Render the bratwurst fat in the mushroom oil, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and caramelize, about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms back to the pan with vinegar and sugar. Mix well to incorporate. Heat about 2 minutes. Place the spinach in a mixing bowl. Remove the sausage mixture from the heat and combine with the spinach. Toss the ingredients in the mixing bowl.

The heat from the sausage, onion, and mushroom mixture will slightly wilt the spinach and the bratwurst fat, combined with the oil and vinegar will create a 'hot vinaigrette'. Serve the salad on a warm plate and garnish with freshly cracked pepper and olive oil.

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