Wilted Spinach Salad with grilled onions
- 1 medium-sized very fresh, tart apple
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 small avocado, perfectly ripe
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups sliced red onion (1/4-inch slices)
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (or more, to taste)
- 1 cup lightly toasted California walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 10 ounces very fresh baby spinach leaves, thoroughly dried
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges (squeezable!), for garnish
* 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.
* 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.
* Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet or a ridged grill pan; add the onion and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and walnuts, turn the heat down to medium, and cook with minimal stirring for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the seeds and nuts give off a toasty aroma. Be careful not to let them burn!
* Add the onion mixture to the spinach, and toss until thoroughly mixed. The spinach will wilt upon contact with the hot oil and onion. 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.
* 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, garnished with lemon wedges to squeeze on top, if desired.