With the heat of the season and colorful abundance offered by the markets, I find myself consuming ridiculous quantities of fresh green verdura. The salad I'll be making today is a rich and tasty Insalata di Spinaci, a warm spinach salad: the 80's in a salad bowl.
The heated pancetta drippings wilt the fresh spinach leaves, and along with the crumbled hard-boiled egg, provide a subtle diversity of flavors and textures.
Here's what you need for 4 eaters:
10-12 oz triple rinsed baby spinach leaves, stems removed
50 g (1/4 cup) minced red onion
2 soft-boiled eggs, 1 chopped, 1 sliced
5 strips of pancetta
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. white vinegar
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. water
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Place the dry spinach leaves in a large bowl, add the chopped onions and refrigerate, tightly covered.
Fry the pancetta until crisp. Save the drippings, but remove the strips to a paper towel and set aside. In a small jar or measuring cup combine the pancetta drippings with sugar, vinegar, water, salt and pepper, and give it a good shake. Refrigerate all ingredients until just before serving.
When ready to serve, microwave the dressing on 'high' for 30-45 seconds, or until the mixture boils. Toss the chopped egg with the spinach, then pour the hot dressing over everything; tossing again lightly to coat well. Top with sliced egg and crumbled bacon.
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