Wilted Spinach Salad with Grilled Onions, Cumin, Avocado, and Apple

Adapted from Vegetable Heaven
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Fresh spinach becomes meltingly tender when wilted by brief contact with hot ingredients. The best spinach leaves to use for this salad are the smallest, freshest you can find.

This tastes best immediately after it has been assembled, when the onion is still warm, the spinach and avocado are at room temperature, and the apple slices are very cold.

  • To streamline preparation time, cook the onions and rice at the same time.
  • You will thank yourself for grating the lemon zest before juicing the lemon.
1 medium-sized tart green apple
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small avocado, perfectly ripe
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced onion (in rings 1/2 inch wide)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 pound cleaned, stemmed spinach—in a large bowl
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cut the apple into thin slices onto a plate, and drizzle with about 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice. Cover the plate tightly, and refrigerate.
  2. Pour the remaining lemon juice onto a second plate. Peel and slice the avocado, then place the slices in the lemon juice, then turn them over until they are well coated. Set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet. When it is very hot, add the onion rings, and cook over high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
  4. Add the grilled onion rings and cumin to the spinach, and toss until thoroughly mixed. The spinach will wilt upon contact with the hot oil and onion slices. To speed this process along—and to be sure you include every last drop of the flavorful oil—you can add some of the spinach directly to the pan and swish it around a little, then return it to the bowl. Sprinkle in the salt as you toss.
  5. Gently mix in the avocado, including all the lemon juice, and the apple. Grind in a generous amount of black pepper, and serve right away.
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