Warm Spinach Salad
- 6 servings
- 1 lb. baby spinach, pre-washed
- 1/4 -lb. pancetta (Italian bacon) or regular bacon
- 1/4 -lb. blue cheese (consult cheese monger)
- small jar of capers
- 3 lemons, zested and juiced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 -oz. extra-virgin olive oil (bright California oil works well)
- 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup toasted almonds
Wash and dry spinach (or buy bagged, pre-washed spinach). Small dice (1/4" x 1/4") the pancetta, crisp iton low heat and drain off the fat, reserving 2 tablespoons. Set aside. Crumble the blue cheese and set aside Zest the lemons then cut in half and juice. In a saucepan boil 2 cups salt water. Blanch the lemon zest by dropping it into boiling water for 10-20 seconds. Remove zest and immediately run under cold water. Set aside.
Saute the minced shallots in reserved fat until translucent. Add half of the capers, half of the blanched zest and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Warm over heat. In a bowl toss the spinach, remaining capers, pancetta and crumbled cheese. Toss the salad with warm dressing Garnish with remaining zest and toasted almonds and serve immediately.
Courtesy of Chef Zane Holmquist with Stein Eriksen Lodge