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Spinach Salad with Beets, Beans & Feta
1 h 45 m
“Salty feta, briny olives and earthy beets give a Greek feel to this vegetarian spinach dinner salad recipe. We prefer the taste and texture of freshly cooked white beans, but you can skip that step and use 2 cups rinsed canned white beans instead. If you have a special olive oil, now's the time to break it out.”
3 tablespoons dried oregano, preferably Greek
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup red-wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup dried white beans, soaked (see Tip)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
6 medium red or Chioggia beets (about 1½ pounds)
12 cups baby spinach
½ cup Kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1To prepare vinaigrette: Crumble oregano into a small dry skillet. Toast over low heat for a minute or two. Add oil, vinegar, minced garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Heat until just warm, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk until well combined.
2To prepare salad: Drain the soaked beans, transfer to a large saucepan and cover with fresh water by about 2 inches. Bring to a gentle boil; add garlic and bay leaf. Reduce heat, skim any foam, partially cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add salt and continue simmering until the beans are tender, testing frequently for doneness, 20 to 40 minutes more.
3Drain the beans; discard the garlic and bay leaf. Return to the pan, stir in ⅓ cup vinaigrette; let marinate for about 30 minutes. Add onion to the remaining vinaigrette; marinate for 30 minutes.
4Meanwhile, place the beets in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water to cool slightly. Peel and cut the beets into wedges.
5Gently toss the beans, beets and spinach with the onion and vinaigrette to combine. Serve topped with olives and feta.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare beans, beets & vinaigrette; refrigerate in separate containers for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before assembling the salad.
Soak dry beans to ensure even cooking. Place in a bowl, cover with at least 2 inches of cold water and soak for 12 to 24 hours. Or, if you're in hurry, use the “quick-soak” method. Place beans in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain before cooking.