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Grilled Onion and tomatoes salad

This is one of my favorite salads of all time.  Its light and the sweet grape tomatoes are so refreshing–its perfect for spring/summertime.  Grilling the onions is a must–it adds a great caramelized texture to the onions and a charred, smokey flavor to the salad.

Grilled-Onion Salad with Grape Tomatoes, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens’ “Ultimate Italian”

4 T. olive oil, divided
1 T. white wine vinegar
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. paprika
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t. garlic powder
1 large red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 c. spinach, washed and dried
3/4 c. grape or cherry tomatoes
1/4 c. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (2 ounces)

Brush red onion pieces with 1 T. olive oil.  Place onions on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals.*  Grill about 10 minutes or until onions are softened and slightly charred, turning once halfway through the grilling process.  Separate onion slices into rings.

To make the dressing, combine the 3 T. olive oil, vinegar, salt, cumin, paprika, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Whisk together until well combined.

In a large bowl, combine grilled onions, spinach and grape tomatoes.  Pour dressing over the spinach mixture, tossing gently to coat.  Arrange on a serving platter, sprinkle with cheese.  Serve.

Serves 4-6.

*I used our electric Cuisinart griddle, bringing the temperature to medium before adding the onion slices.  They cooked for approximately 5 min on each side.

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