A friend’s fiancé is a chef.  He is also one of the most humble chefs I have ever met.  At gatherings he always brings something delicious, and yet every time he is able to compliment others and their creations.  I admire that.

One of the things he has served a few times is a warm spinach or arugula salad – and they are always delicious.  Most recently he served one with pancetta and bocconcini.   I wasn’t really paying attention to what was in it, just that it was super tasty and a little different: rich and yet still a great depth to it.  This salad is inspired from his…certainly not a duplication, I could never do it justice.  So thank you to him, and as always I will always look forward to a lovely meal with them.

spinach salad

Ingredients:

4 slices pancetta

1/2 small red onion, sliced paper thin
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half, or even quartered if large enough
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup bocconcini, chopped
4-6 cups clean and dried spinach and arugula leaves

Directions:

  1. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, fry up prosciutto, once browned, remove and cool on a paper towel – they will crisp up.
  2. Add one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to skillet, once warmed add onions, cook until softened.
  3. Add finely chopped garlic and tomatoes – cook up for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add balsamic and sugar – allow to thicken.
  5. Stir in mustard.
  6. Add remaining olive oil, emulsify (whisk)
  7. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the spinach, arugula, crumbled up prosciutto and chopped bocconcini.
  8. Once the dressing has thickened, you may want to season with fresh cracked pepper.
  9. Dress the spinach and bocconcini with the hot dressing.  Mix until leaves begin to wilt.

Serves 4 – a great side!

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