05 June 2013

Virtual Supper Club Cooks Fresh and Local ...

This month's Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club theme is 'Fresh and Local' and aren't we all loving that? Our gardens are just starting to come on with greens and we picked the first strawberry of the season yesterday morning! It's all about the greens though ... new lettuce greens and the first kale, rows of spinach for salads - all brand new and minutes from the garden when it hits the salad bowl!

My favorite green is spinach and I pester my husband to plant it very early in the Spring so that we can have fresh baby leaves in salads. We never get enough to cook in the mounds that we like to gobble, so I do buy fresh from the farmers market and the super.  Today's recipe is a wilted spinach with a garlic vinaigrette sauce that when plated serves as a wonderful side dish or in this evening's case a bed for salmon fillets.

I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I also used some of the vinaigrette to dress a mess of black beans that were tossed with fried sweet peppers and topped with fresh cold avocado. We definitely got our vegetables in this meal! And they are all so different in color and flavour from the winter fare of squashes and potatoes!

Thank goodness for Springtime gardens and all this fresh goodness!

Spinach with Garlic Vinaigrette


1 ½ tbsp good olive oil
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. black pepper
⅛ tsp Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic minced
6 oz. fresh spinach leaves
¼ c. vertically slivered red onion

Making the Dish:

  1. Measure the first five ingredients into a small bowl and whisk briskly. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large fry pan. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to brown and caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Drop in the spinach in handfuls, tossing to mix in the onions and garlic.
  4. Toss for about three minutes until the spinach begins to wilt.
  5. Plate the spinach and serve or use the spinach as a bed for an accompanying meat or fish.

Note: If you plan to have the spinach as a base for the salmon, make the spinach and put it on the serving platter. Then, zap the spinach on the microwave just before the salmon is finished broiling. The platter and spinach will be nice and warm to receive the fish.

Pan-seared Salmon

Wash and dry a large fillet of salmon. Cut into serving sized pieces and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

Sprinkle the flesh side of the fillets with a bit of Kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and chili powder.

Heat a grill pan until it is very hot. Spray with a bit of pan spray. Lay the salmon pieces on the hot grill, skin side down. Grill over high heat for about 2 minutes.

Place the grill pan in the oven on the top rack and finish the salmon under the broiler set at high … broil for about 3  minutes and then check the fish to see if it flakes.

Lay the salmon atop the spinach.

Of course, the members of the Virtual Supper Club are from very different regions of North America, so what's 'fresh and local' is going to be a bit different !  So ... let's go see what others are making and sharing this month!

Fresh and Local Menu

Vegetable Side Dish - Spinach with Garlic Vinaigrette


  1. Both dishes are very tasty Susan. Thank you so much for bringing them to to the table.

  2. I remember so well being excited when June arrived in New Hampshire, with the threat of frost passing and the opening of farmer's markets. The spinach looks delicious, though I'm afraid my Picky Eater wouldn't go for it. Oh well, more for me!

  3. This looks so good! I love spinach, as well, and can hardly wait for our market to open next week so I can get some garden fresh produce.

  4. The only thing I don't like about spinach is the amount I need to cook for my family. We eat a lot of fresh spinach at my house. This looks delicious and I love going to the local farmer markets also.

    1. I hear you on that score, Susan. I always seem to be the one that has to wash and pick over ALL those little leaves too! Tedium, but the payoff is always sooo good!


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