Spinach Salad With Pancetta and Fried Eggs
Laced with nuggets of pancetta and crisp-edged fried eggs, there’s a lot going on in this hearty salad, and you need a green that can stand up to it all. With its thick, ruffled leaves and almost mineral flavor, mature spinach (as opposed to those ubiquitous baby leaves) does the job well. If you can’t find it, you can substitute baby spinach, though it will wilt when it makes contact with the hot eggs. Or try kale, which also holds up nicely. Serve this for a light dinner or a hearty brunch with some good bread and olive oil for dipping on the side.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1to 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated (or minced)
- 1 ½tablespoons cider vinegar
- ¼teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed
- ¼teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓cup plus 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, more as needed
- 3ounces pancetta, diced
- 2scallions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
- 12cups spinach, preferably mature spinach rather than baby, or use kale
- ½cup chopped fresh dill
Step 1In a large salad bowl, whisk together shallots, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil and set aside.
Step 2Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add pancetta and sauté until browned and crisp at the edges, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the salad bowl with the dressing. Do not wipe out the skillet.
Step 3Add scallions and a pinch of salt to remaining fat in skillet. Sauté until tender and pale golden, 2 minutes. Crack in eggs. Fry eggs, spooning some of the olive oil over whites to crisp them at the edges, until just set, 1 to 2 minutes. Add more oil to the pan if needed to be able to spoon some over the eggs.
Step 4Toss spinach and herbs with the dressing and pancetta. Divide onto plates. Top each with a scallion-laced fried egg.