Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Justin's Salad

When Austin and I lived in DC, we were in the Southeast quadrant.  Anyone who had lived in or visited DC more than 4 or 5 years ago, gasped and stared at us in awe when we told them that.  I guess they were trying to figure out how 2 white kids from Utah survived the experience.
It was described as "up-and-coming" in real estate brochures.  It wasn't exactly unsafe, but at the same time, did I walk alone at night?  No.

One major attraction that the area had was the Nationals Stadium.  The restaurants, stores, and bars were a little slower to follow though.  In fact, we only had one restaurant in our neighborhood.  It was called Justin's.  I never met Justin.  They served pizzas, really really hot wings, a pretty good beer selection, and this salad.  As far as things go, we were pretty lucky - if we were only going to have one restaurant, at least it was a good one.
Everytime we went, I ordered this salad with baby spinach, mozzarella, caramelized onions, fried polenta, and a parmesan vinaigrette.  It never got/gets old.  Figured I had to recreate it since I don't have any plans to visit DC in the middle of summer :)

1 roll polenta, cubed
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 c. pearl onions, peeled
baby spinach
pita bread/naan (optional)
For the Parmesan Vinaigrette:
Recipe from Melissa d'Arabian
3 Tbsp. grated parmesan
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 c. olive oil
salt & pepper

1.  Roll cubed polenta in flour.

2.  In a skillet, coat the bottom with olive oil.  Heat until shiny over medium heat.  Add polenta and fry until crispy on all sides (stirring occasionally).  Turn out onto a paper towel-lined plate to dry.

3.  In the same skillet, caramelize pearl onions.

4.  Meanwhile, combine vinaigrette ingredients in salad shaker (or jar).

5.  Assemble salads.  Add a couple slices of naan/pita.


  1. was wondering who justin was...i think i even had that salad!


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