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Spinach Salad with Sauted Mushrooms

March 22, 2006

Dressing:

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Salt and coarse ground pepper to taste

Salad:

1/4 cup pancetta, finely diced, or 4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips

3 cups white mushrooms, sliced thickly

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1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (Italian or flat-leaf parsley preferred)

1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

8 cups washed and trimmed spinach leaves, tightly packed

1 small red onion, sliced thinly

For the dressing: Combine vinegar, mustard and sugar. Whisk in oil very slowly, to emulsify dressing. Add thyme, salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.

Heat pancetta in a medium skillet over medium heat until it is crisp and brown. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Add mushrooms and salt to pancetta drippings in pan and saut for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add wine, parsley and pepper, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by three-fourths.

Add cream and simmer until reduced by half.

Keep warm.

In a large bowl, lightly toss spinach with dressing. Divide spinach between 4 serving plates. Top each plate with onion, pancetta and mushrooms. For an added punch, top each salad with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.

Serves 4.

- Courtesy of Blue Moon Cafe

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