Baby Spinach Salad with Blood Orange Segments, Caramelized Onions, Toasted Pecans, Feta Cheese, Crispy Pancetta, and Honey Orange Vinaigrette
These seasonal ingredients make for a wonderful winter salad on the side or as a meal.
4 ounces thick cut pancetta diced small
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, halved and sliced in half moons
4 blood oranges, 3 peeled, segmented and 1 juiced
2 tablespoons fine champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons blood orange juice
1 teaspoon shallots, minced
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup olive oil
8 ounces baby spinach
4 tablespoons pecans, toasted and crumbled
4 ounces French feta cheese
1. Heat heavy bottomed pan over medium-high and add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove with a slated spoon to paper towel to remove excess fat. Place in a warm oven until served.
2. Heat the butter and olive oil. In a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high sauté the onions, reduce heat to simmer, and stir every few minutes until the onions are caramelized. Set aside.
3. Add the vinegar, orange juice, shallots, mustard, honey, and salt to the bowl of food processor, turn on the food processor, and add the olive oil in a slow steady stream until emulsified. Use a spatula to transfer the vinaigrette to storage bowl and refrigerate.
4. In a large mixing bowl toss together the baby spinach, caramelized onions, blood oranges and vinaigrette until lightly coated. Divide evenly among four plates and garnish with the pecans, feta, and pancetta. Serve.