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The Kitchn: Spinach-artichoke salad has the most ingenious crispy topping

Sheela Prakash, on

I am always here for a spinach-artichoke moment. Whether it’s a riff on the classic party dip in the form of pasta, baked chicken or grilled cheese, I’ll happily oblige. Knowing this, then, you won’t be surprised to learn I have a spinach-artichoke-dip-inspired salad in my newest cookbook, “Salad Seasons.”

It’s light and fresh rather than goopy, with still plenty of comfort, thanks to warm roasted artichokes, wilted spinach, and a generous amount of salty feta crumbles. What makes this recipe so special, though, is the crunchy, crouton-like quinoa that’s sprinkled over the whole mess to lend big-time texture, as well as feel-good protein to every forkful. It’s a bright, warming bowl for spring, whether as a meatless main or a vegetable-packed side to round out a celebratory meal.

Why I love this salad

My cookbook shows off salad’s versatility from season to season and proves that the dish shouldn’t be defined simply by bowls of greens. This playful platter puts this theory to work. Rather than fussing with fresh artichokes, which while delicious are frankly a bit of a pain to prep, this recipe calls for marinated artichokes. Not only are they easier, but they’re also soaked with flavor and crisp up in the oven when roasted, as they’re soaked in an oily marinade.

When the golden artichokes come out of the oven, baby spinach is scattered over them, which wilts just enough in the residual heat. A bit of lemon juice, salt, and pepper are all that’s needed to turn this into a simple salad, but the crunch is what makes it an exciting salad. Toast cooked quinoa under the broiler and the grains become little crispies to scatter over spinach and artichokes. When combined with one more layer of crunch in the form of sliced scallions, each bite is full of texture, while crumbled feta lends creamy, salty goodness.

A few tips


Warm Spinach-Artichoke Salad with Quinoa Crunchies

Makes 1 large salad; serves 4

1/2 cup quinoa

3/4 cup water


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