Wilted Spinach Salad w/ Balsamic Caramelized Red Onions

By • March 11, 2010 9 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a take on that 70's classic: Wilted Spinach Salad -- which to me was a childhood favorite. The original was made with bacon, the onions sauteed in bacon grease and the whole mixture poured, hot and sizzling over the unsuspecting spinach. I have lightened it up a bit by removing the bacon and sauteing red onions in olive oil, then pouring that over the spinach. You could add bacon or pancetta to this as well and I'm sure it would be delicious, and a fried or poached egg over top wouldn't be bad either!coffeefoodwritergirl

Food52 Review: I tested coffeefoodwritergirl's Wilted Spinach Salad with Balsamic Caramelized Onions. It's a really simple dish with few components, but I really loved how it all came together -- the hit of lemon at the end was a really nice touch. In a word, yum. - lastnightsdinnerThe Editors

Serves 4-6

  • 1 small package organic baby spinach
  • 1 large red onion – sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons e.v. olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • extra olive oil for drizzling
  • juice of ½ small lemon (a little over a tablespoon)
  1. Wash and dry spinach. Place in large bowl.
  2. Sauté onions w/ a ¼ teaspoon salt in olive oil until translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until caramelized completely and a nice light toast color.
  3. While still hot, pour the onions with the oil over the spinach, add the additional ¼ teaspoon salt and the ¼ teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with lemon. Add more olive oil if needed. Toss completely and serve while still warm...

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Salads

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Comments (9) Questions (0)


9 months ago Jason Kertz

I want to make this for a work Thanksgiving potluck, any thoughts/ideas on the best way to prepare this ahead so it closely resembles the fresh preparation?


9 months ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Hi Jason, I'd prepare and sauté the onions ahead of time as directed, take it in a microwaveable container and heat them up that way just before tossing w/ cleaned spinach and other ingredients. Hope this helps!


11 months ago Sharon Flor

We had some goat cheese in the refrigerator, so we added some (the amount that looked right for the amount of spinach we had) at the end and it made it creamy and yummy. I will definitely make this recipe again.


11 months ago coffeefoodwritergirl

sounds delicious!


over 1 year ago howcool

I had some spinach that was slightly past salad-worthy, so it went into the pan, where I tossed it with all the other ingredients to make it a warm, more-wilted-than-salad side dish... excellent! I agree that it's the squeeze of lemon juice that elevates this dish to the point where I want to comment on it. Leftovers were also great a few hours later, slightly warm, piled onto a buttermilk scone and topped with cheddar cheese. ;-P


over 1 year ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Yum! Sounds great on the scone….


over 3 years ago J3_Dog

I see so many variations of Balsamic Vinegar and also EVOO. Can someone please tell me some good brands for cooking. I'm into taste not frugality, and although I do not want to spend a fortune, I do not think it's wise to skimp on these two items... Thanks


over 5 years ago monkeymom

Beautiful photo. Looks delicious!


over 5 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Thank you, monkeymom!