A good meal with a good friend has a way of healing so many kinds of worries, hurts, and fears. There is so much joy to be found in simple pleasures and small moments, even in the middle of a life storm.
First of all: Warm Spinach. I know, it doesn't sound like the beginning of something delicious and it certainly doesn't look very appetizing. You're going to have to trust me on this one though. This Warm Spinach and Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese is something special.
It's special in part because it was created by a friend I have always admired and whose company I greatly miss these days. She enjoyed a salad similar to this one at a restaurant and then went home and set about making up her own version. Fortunately for me, she brought over a bowl to share and her cooking notes. It's been on our family menu ever since.
Years have passed since I've had the pleasure of that good friend's company, but this salad has stood the test of time. It is always a reminder to me of her ingenuity, her generosity, and her enviable kitchen skills. She was a good friend and this salad, to me, is a friendly meal, the kind of recipe meant to be passed along and enjoyed with people you love, which is why I am sharing it here with you.
This is a simple meal, but a healthy and filling meal all the same. It's best served with slices of a crusty baguette or a loaf of warm french bread, and good company.
This salad has become a staple meal on warm summer nights when it's much too hot to even think about turning on the oven. I've been enjoying it lately on the patio with good friends and family, reminding myself how lucky I am to have a life filled with so many good and kind people.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 7 to 8 oz each, cut in bite size pieces
- 10 oz fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 can medium black olives, drained and sliced, reserve juices
- 1 cup blue cheese crumbles
- salt and pepper
- 1 loaf of crusty bread
- Place prepared spinach in a large serving bowl. Set aside.
- In large skillet, saute onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until soft and translucent. Remove onions and set aside. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil and add chicken pieces. Cook chicken for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Return the onions to the pan with the chicken and stir in the olives and olive juice. Heat over medium high heat until liquid begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour chicken mixture over the spinach and toss until spinach is warm and soft. Sprinkle with blue cheese and serve with a side of crusty bread, which is delicious when dipped in the warm juices. Serve immediately. Approximately 4 dinner servings, or 8 appetizer servings.