Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Frizzled Prosciutto

This posting isn't so much a recipe as a reminder. To improvise. To think outside the box. To use what you have on hand as inspiration.

We quite often have one of those big plastic boxes of baby spinach in our fridge. I add it to sandwiches. Steam it up for a quick side. Or throw it in a bowl as a salad. But I was itching for a new salad "recipe." One beyond the typical bacon, hard-boiled egg, Catalina dressing version.

I was thrilled to run across this one as I reorganized a stack of recipes the other day. I had a couple pieces of prosciutto leftover from a party I could "frizzle." Some Boursin cheese from our Christmas cheese board could stand in for the goat cheese. And I can whip up a balsamic vinaigrette with both hands tied behind my back.

Here's the recipe. But what flights of fancy does it take you on? How about blue cheese instead of goat? Is there another "bacon" you could use? A favorite salad dressing to drizzle on top? Ooooo...what about pecans for some crunch? You get the idea....

Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Frizzled Prosciutto
From Cooking Light.
Makes 8 servings.

2 thin slices prosciutto, cut into 1/2-inch strips (about 1/4 cup)
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach (about 10 cups)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange prosciutto in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely.

Combine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Combine prosciutto and spinach in a large bowl. Drizzle vinegar mixture over spinach mixture; toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve immediately.

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