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