warm spinach salad with sautéed shiitake mushrooms + balsamic vinaigrette

Warming the balsamic vinaigrette for this salad has been one of my best ideas.


This vinaigrette pairs well with the earthy mushrooms and spinach. But, you can really mix most salads with this classic balsamic vinaigrette (maybe not warmed, though). This vinaigrette has a distinct flavor, certainly not overpowering. I warmed the dressing to wilt the spinach just a bit. Great. Idea.

Personally I enjoy simple salads and tend to make the dressing right in the salad bowl. Once you find a vinegar you really like (e.g., rice, red wine, champagne, etc.,) match it with two parts extra virgin olive oil, some salt, and some pepper. Then you are good to go for virtually any concoction of greens, just mix it all up with some tongs.

I am beyond excited for the month of March. So many great things are happening! Lots of travel, workshops, friends, and... my sister is coming to visit! She has a spring break in the middle of the month and has decided to come to the beautiful San Francisco!

This will be a trip of many firsts for her: first plane ride (let alone solo plane ride), first time in California, and so many firsts I will force her to do while she is here. For one, all of the amazing food she has yet to try. We grew up in a house of picky eaters, not to say she is or is not one but there are many things we never tried in our household - as in types of cuisine, green leafy vegetables, almost all beans, etc. I make a huge effort to go out of my way to try new foods whenever possible either by buying them to cook or already prepared.

I currently am compiling a list of my favorite restaurants, food trucks, and other food joints to take my sister so we can eat all of the food. She has seven days here so I figure that gives us plenty of time for all that is on my list plus time to stay in so I can cook for her too. Any recommendations for places in SF to eat are greatly appreciated! I still keep finding little gems as I explore the city and I'd love to know of even more.


warm spinach salad with sautéed shiitake mushrooms with balsamic vinaigrette


2 cups spinach, tightly packed

1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, diced

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red onion, sliced thinly

for the vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tbsp German mustard, or similar (e.g., Dijon)

salt + pepper


Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a nonstick pan. Sauté the mushrooms until lightly browned and soft, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and put directly into the spinach. Add the red onion slices to the spinach as well. 

Using the olive oil from the sauté pan, mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette together. Add these contents to the pan and warm on medium heat until slightly thickened. Remove from the pan and immediately toss with the salad. 

Enjoy right away!