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Spinach Salad on Garlic Croutons

Spinach Salad on Garlic Croutons


  • 2 large eggs

  • 12 slices crusty peasant bread

  • 2 large cloves garlic, halved

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for liberal drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 1/4 pound thick-cut pancetta, diced

  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick or quartered

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/3 cup Marsala or dry sherry

  • 1/2 pound farm spinach (available bundled in the produce department), washed, dried and chopped

  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste


Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

To make the hard-boiled eggs, put the eggs in a pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Run the eggs under cold water, crack and return to cold water for a few minutes to loosen shells. Chop the eggs and set aside.

Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and rub with the garlic. Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with the cheese, then return to the oven to melt the cheese, about 1-2 minutes. While the bread toasts, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan. Add the pancetta and crisp for about 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and deglaze the pan with Marsala or dry sherry.

While the mushrooms cook, combine the spinach with the red onion and dress with lemon juice, a liberal drizzle of EVOO and nutmeg.

Arrange the toasts on a platter and top with the mushrooms and spinach. Garnish with chopped eggs and serve.