This salad has so many big, flavorful ingredients — including my Grandma Alma's famous hot-sweet mustard that brings me right back to my childhood.
Technique tip: Prepare the hot-sweet mustard the day before or even earlier so there will be ample time to allow the flavors to really come together.
Hot-sweet mustard (makes about 1½ cups)
- 1/2 cup dry mustard such as Colman's (one 2-ounce can)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard (9 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons hot sweet mustard (recipe above)
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup almond oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup bourbon, preferably Maker's Mark
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 pound baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 pound Cotija cheese, crumbled
- 12 moonshine soaked cherries, halved, preferably Ole Smoky Tennessee brand
For the hot-sweet mustard:
Mix together the dry mustard, sugar, salt and flour. Stir the vinegar and melted butter into the dry mixture, then add the prepared mustard. Blend well.
Refrigerate the mustard for at least 24 hours to allow the mustard powder to come to its full heat and meld with the rest of the ingredients.
For the vinaigrette:
Whisk all ingredients together until vinaigrette is thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the bourbon mushrooms:
In a sauté pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes or until tender and almost all liquid has evaporated.
Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon to deglaze, return to heat, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat to low and stir in the minced garlic, parsley and thyme. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the salad:
Toss spinach leaves with the mustard vinaigrette. Place large scoopful of bourbon mushrooms on top of spinach. Scatter Cotija cheese and halved cherries on top and serve immediately.