This salad was on the Tra Vigne menu for many years. When all was said and done, I must have eaten a hundred pounds of it, because each time I made it, I couldn't resist taking a bite. Entertaining Notes: To make this ahead of time, cook right up to the point where you add the vinegar and remove the skillet from the heat. Reheat the dressing and then reduce the vinegar just before serving. Have the greens and cheese ready. Then toss and serve. With crostini it is an awesome first course. Wine Notes: I developed this salad for Laura Chenel and Dan Duckhorn. Laura makes goat cheese and Dan makes Sauvignon Blanc wine. The cheese and wine make a classic match, but the challenge was how to incorporate them into a salad with vinegar, which can overwhelm wine. I discovered that if you cook the vinegar, getting the acetic acid down, and the flavor of the vinegar up, then it works beautifully with wine.
Total:
32 min
Active:
20 min
Yield:
6-8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

Directions

Put the spinach in a large bowl. Crumble the cheese over the spinach. Cook the pancetta in a medium skillet over medium heat until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pancetta in a sieve set over a heatproof measuring cup, reserving the rendered fat. You will need 1/4 cup for the dressing. If necessary, add enough olive oil to make 1/4 cup. Pour the fat back into the pan and add the pancetta. When the pancetta is warm again, add the garlic and cook until light brown, about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme and let it crackle in the fat for about 10 seconds. Add the vinegar, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for about 30 seconds to lower the acidity of the vinegar. You should see tiny drops of vinegar dispersed throughout the fat. Add the dried cranberries and stir. Pour the dressing over the spinach and cheese. Toss to coat the leaves evenly and melt the cheese a little. Serve immediately.

Cook's Note

Entertaining Notes: To make this ahead of time, cook right up to the point where you add the vinegar and remove the skillet from the heat. Reheat the dressing and then reduce the vinegar just before serving. Have the greens and cheese ready. Then toss and serve. With crostini it is an awesome first course. Wine Notes: I developed this salad for Laura Chenel and Dan Duckhorn. Laura makes goat cheese and Dan makes Sauvignon Blanc wine. The cheese and wine make a classic match, but the challenge was how to incorporate them into a salad with vinegar, which can overwhelm wine. I discovered that if you cook the vinegar, getting the acetic acid down, and the flavor of the vinegar up, then it works beautifully with wine.

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Guy Fieri

Warm Spinach Salad

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Spinach Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Pasta, Pancetta and Peas

Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson

Saag Paneer: Spinach with Indian Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira

Spinach Artichoke Beef Wellington

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Asian Noodle Salad

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Craveworthy Eats 3 Videos

Crave-Worthy Egg Sandwich 03:24

Claire puts her own spin on a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.

Browse Reviews By Keyword

          powered by PubExchange

          Get Cooking