Certain dishes just have a feeling of “adult” to them, you know?
Lamb chops with mint jelly…adult
Porterhouse steak…you guessed it, adult.
Don’t ask me where those came from, they were just the first three dishes that popped in my mind when trying to think of food you wouldn’t usually feed a kid, not because kids shouldn’t eat food like that, but because they wouldn’t appreciate it and they’d most likely ruin the experience for you as you tried to. When you’re dropping bank on a steak, you kind of want to enjoy and savor each and every bite, not have to sit at the dinner table telling Sally to eat her vegetables and quit annoying her brother.
This is an adult salad. It’s got just barely wilted spinach, roasted tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, feta and a kick ass citrusy mustard dressing. Kids just don’t appreciate how all those things combine to make the perfect bite of salty, sweet, tart and spicy in a salad. They’d probably just complain that you’re forcing them to eat spinach.
I made this knowing Ulysses wouldn’t be home until well past dinner time yesterday with plans to enjoy a relaxing night alone, take a bath, download a new book, read it at the dinner table with a glass of wine, a candle lit and this on my plate.
It sounded wonderful.
I was in the jacuzzi enjoying the fact that I could take a bath without any chance of a husband walking in and wanting to “join me” (you know where I’m going with that, sometimes a girl just wants to relax!) and fell asleep. Don’t worry, I’m pretty confident in my abilities to awaken had I hit the water, unlike Whitney. I’ve mentioned this before, but the way our property is situated we have 5 direct neighbors. Three of which have children between the ages of probably 6-13. All of whom decided 7pm was a great time to play some scream inducing game involving water guns in our backyard. When we first moved in, the parents approached us about letting the kids cross between houses using our backyard and of course we said yes. I don’t remember, however, approving water gun fights with blood curdling screaming at sunset.
Needless to say, peaceful bath time was over as literally every other second someone was screaming and not even the jacuzzi jets could drown them out. I realize I sound like I’m a 75 year old crotchety woman and perhaps a retirement village would be a more appropriate place for us to live. After last night, I’m considering it.
What took me forever to figure out was why this oh so fun game of theirs continued until close to 9pm. Then I realized they probably don’t have school today and their parents were trying to keep them out of their hair for as long as possible. In my backyard.
So, my adult vision of a candlelit dinner with a book turned into eating it next to the computer in the room farthest from the backyard with music on.
Luckily, taste buds can’t hear screaming kids so they were still happy. Next time Ginger tries to chase them down in our backyard, I might not be so quick to stop her though.
Roasted Tomato Spinach Salad with Citrus Mustard Vinaigrette
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 10 oz. bag of spinach
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
Citrus Mustard Vinaigrette
- juice of 1/2 an orange
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon red onion, minced
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
- Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sugar and salt.
- Spread out on baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- When tomatoes are almost finished, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and saute spinach for 1 min, until just starting to wilt.
- Transfer spinach to a serving platter.
- Top with roasted tomatoes straight out of the oven (they will wilt the spinach a bit more from their heat).
- Finally add feta and pine nuts.
Citrus Mustard Vinaigrette
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
- Pour on top of salad once platted and ready to serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.