Spinach & Parmesan Salad

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Spinach and Parmesan salad contains just a few key ingredients that you need before its ready to eat. Learn about spinach and Parmesan salad with help from an executive chef in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Italian Cooking
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Camille Parker from Camillesdish.com, and today I'm going to show you how to make a spinach and Parmesan salad. We're going to add a few more ingredients to the spinach and Parmesan to make it a little bit more interesting and those things are going to be a little pancetta, Italian bacon, some raisins and some pine nuts. And then for the dressing, we're going to use a little fresh lemon and Dijon mustard and olive oil. Okay, so the first thing you're going to want to do is cook off the pancetta. So we're going to add a little tiny bit of olive oil to the pan which I have warming up already. Now you don't need a whole bunch of olive oil because the pancetta has its own fat that's going to render out into the pan. So I'm just going to toss that in there and these are sliced fairly thinly so they're going to go quite quickly. I just want to keep an eye on them to make sure that they cook evenly. Now pancetta you can find in the grocery store as well. It's Italian bacon which it's different from American bacon in that American bacon is smoked and pancetta is not. It's simply cured. So it's not cured enough to eat raw which you know, a prosciutto or a ham would be but it is not smoked like American bacon. If you preferred, of course, you could use American bacon as well. Here we're going to use pancetta to keep it all an Italian salad. Okay, so here you can see that some of our pieces are getting quite crispy and some are still needing a little tiny bit more time. So we just want to keep stirring them around so that they are all finishing at the same time. We're very close here. I'm going to turn off the heat because that's all we really need. So, now what I'm going to do with the pancetta once everybody is as lovely and brown as we want them to be is take it out and put it in a paper towel to drain a little bit and now we're left with all of this delicious fat from the pancetta and this is very flavorful stuff so we don't want to lose this. So what I'm going to do is make the base of the dressing out of that by adding a little bit of lemon juice and a little bit of water. So I'm just going to put a little water in here. Notice I have the flame off so that the water doesn't ignite the oil in the pan and I'm just going to add a little bit of water so that all of the juice from the pancetta gets incorporated and this is called deglazing. You're going to deglaze the pan to get all the fond, everything that's stuck to the bottom of the pan, that's all flavor and that's what we want. So now I'm going to turn this back on for a sec and I'm going to turn it on high and I'm going to add some lemon juice as well because I want the water to reduce so I'm going to turn it on high so it will do that quickly but I want to keep all of the flavor of the lemon and the pancetta. Now to this I'm just going to add a tiny touch of Dijon mustard and you want to be a little bit careful because depending on your Dijon, it can be very strong or very hot as well. So, I'm just going to add a little touch to that and that's all I want. I'm going to turn off the heat. Next I'm just going to add a little bit of olive oil to my dressing base to sort of finish it off. Now I'm not really worried about emulsifying this. I just want there to be a nice balance and then we're just going to simply dress the spinach by itself because I only want, I want all of the ingredients to be visible on the top of the salad so I'm just going to mix this around and dress the spinach alone and give him a good toss. I'm going to go ahead and use all the dressing because it's delicious and add a little salt and a little fresh cracked pepper and I'm just going to toss this to make sure all of the spinach is coated well and then I'm going to add the rest of my ingredients that I have ready to go. So, that looks nice. Oh, what should I put next. Okay, next the pancetta which I'm going to use all of. You can see how nicely it crisped up, um hum, it's delicious. And then I'm going to add a whole bunch of Parmesan. I have Parmigiano Reggiano, the real stuff and I'm going to add my raisins. You could use these raisins or even golden raisins would be really nice. This one sort of lends a different color so I like it a lot and then some pine nuts. Now the pine nuts you always want toasted. If they're not toasted when you buy them, toast them at home. You've got to keep your eye on them because toasting nuts is dangerous. They go really fast and they burn like that. I hope you enjoyed this beautiful spinach and Parmesan salad. I'm Camille Parker from Camillesdish.com.

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