The summer is nearing an end, and the cherry tomato plant still has tons of ripening cherry tomatoes! It’s time to get creative with your salads. This warm stir-fried spinach salad is bursting with flavor and it’s a great way to use up those ripening tomatoes.
I first discovered a version of this warm salad from a collection of vegetarian stir fry recipes my cousin put together as a bridal shower gift along with a nice wok. It was the first time I had ever seen the concept of a warm salad. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted.
That was a long time ago, and well before I would have characterized myself as a foodie. I’ve since tried dozens of varieties of warm salads, but this combination of spinach, tomato and feta will always be one of my favorites.
One of the things I love about this salad is that there is no dressing and yet it has so much flavor. Most of this has to do with the tomatoes and the feta, so make sure you use juicy tomatoes and good feta and don’t substitute them out! Sometimes I sprinkle on some pine nuts too for an added crunch.
This recipe also includes fennel, but if you’re not into that licorice taste, try some sliced onions instead. I don’t always have fennel, and onions taste just as good.
Either way, once you try it, you’ll want to make it again and again. It’s great for a light lunch or a side dish. You can even turn it into an appetizer! Just serve it warm on top of some toasted bread for delicious crostini.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 15 leaves fresh basils
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a wok or large pot over medium high heat.
- Add the fennel, red peppers, and garlic. Lower the heat and stir fry for 3-4 minutes or until the fennel softens slightly.
- Add the tomatoes, spinach and basil and cook until the spinach is just wilted.
- Transfer to a serving dish or bowls. Top with feta cheese and enjoy warm.