Warm Spinach Salad
- 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.
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