This is my all-time favorite salad. The warm quinoa causes the spinach to slightly wilt, the roasted shiitakes add a nutty, woodsy flavor, and the crumbled feta on top adds a contrast of color and a creamy bite. I make a red wine vinaigrette to drizzle over top, but you can add any vinegar-based dressing if you have another favorite.
This salad is great warm (of course), but it also makes great leftovers and is delicious cold. When I was teaching everyday, I would make a big salad on Sunday evenings, and separate it into five small containers to take with me to lunch everyday.
Warm Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Shiitake Mushrooms
1 lb. baby spinach
2 lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps quartered
1 1/2 c. quinoa
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 c. crumbled feta
In a medium saucepan, add the quinoa, 3 c. water, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Heat the broiler. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
On a large baking sheet, toss the mushrooms with 1/2 the dressing (keep the rest to mix into the salad). Cook the mushrooms under the broiler until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes.
Place the spinach in a large bowl. Slowly mix in the quinoa. Don't add all the quinoa at once. It will clump together. Next add the mushrooms and feta. Toss everything together and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Lightly toss one more time and serve!
Recipe taken from Food Everyday: Great Food Fast cookbook