I was thrilled to find these baby spinach leaves at S&R last week. At just PHP39 a bag, with enough greens for two very generous salads, I thought it was a great deal. I believe these are hydroponically raised, and while they look great, they do seem a bit bland. But never mind, variety in my salad intake is sought after and I knew exactly what I wanted to make for lunch that day… Just wash the spinach and stick them in a spinner to dry the leaves off. Place a generous amount of spinach in an individual salad bowl and chill for about 15-30 minutes in the fridge.
Next, heat up a small non-stick pan and fry up some very thinly sliced pancetta. If you don’t have pancetta, good bacon (not overly sweet) works too. Then add some sliced red onions and saute for a minute or two, add some balsamic vinegar and ten second later pour this hot, fatty, pungent mixture/topping onto the salad greens. Add a touch of olive oil if necessary. Season with salt and cracked black pepper. It is so simple to make, yet incredibly delicious and, um, reasonably healthy. I have another spinach salad recipe, here.
The robust but not bitter spinach leaves are the perfect foil for the salty and caramelized pancetta, with the silky onions infused with pork fat and the balsamic vinegar. This could be a meal by itself with a piece of good bread, but I like it as a prelude to a hearty pasta main course instead… :)