Amaretto Spinach Salad

Amaretto Spinach Salad

The legend of Amaretto goes that in 1525, a church in Saronno, the liqueur’s home town, commissioned the artist Da Vinci and his student Bernardino Luini to paint their sanctuary. As the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Luini needed to depict the Madonna, but was in need of a model. He found his inspiration in a young widowed innkeeper, who became his model and his lover. Out of gratitude and affection, the woman wished to give him a gift. Her simple means did not permit much, so she steeped apricot kernels in brandy and presented the resulting concoction to a touched Luini. The story is, in all likelihood, bollocks, but it’s a nice story. And this is a nice salad.

  • 900g (2 lbs) spinach, washed and shredded
  • 450g (1 lb) olive, diced
  • 125ml (½ cup) salad oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 125ml (½ cup) red wine vinegar
  • 125ml (½ cup) lemon juice
  • 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 125g (4 oz) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 125ml (½ cup) Amaretto
  1. To make the dressing, place the bacon in a large pan and cook over a medium heat until crisp. Set the bacon aside add cook the garlic in the fat, adding the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, Amaretto and a little salt and pepper. Simmer until blended then cool.
  2. When ready to serve, place spinach, mushrooms, onion and the bacon in a large bowl and toss in the dressing.

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