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Roy's Restaurant Vine-Ripened
Tomato Wilted Spinach Salad

RG

Ingredients

From Roy's Restaurant, Las Vegas, Nevada, with its Hawaiian-fusion cuisine, comes a salad of contrasts. Oversize tomato slices qualify it as a red dish.

An ad-copy writer could call this salad a ballet between passionate heat and enchanting chill. We call it a salad with hot and cold elements.

Pancetta Dressing

  • 2 baby carrots, rough chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, small chopped
  • 1/4 celery stalk, small chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 6 1/2 ounces white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ounces pancetta, which is an Italian bacon (regular bacon can substitute)
  • 2 peppercorns

Basil Oil

  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 2 baby spinach leaves
  • 2 1/2 ounces olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Salad

  • 4 large slices tomato, 1/2-inch thick
  • Sweet onions, to taste, julienned
  • 1 ounce extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces baby spinach leaves

Assembly

  • 3 ounces greens, such as a mix of mesclun or baby field greens
  • Basil oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Pancetta Dressing: Sauté vegetables in olive oil in sauce pot for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté till golden. Add sugar and melt. Deglaze with the balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and let simmer 15 minutes. Strain through a colander or strainer.
  2. Sauté pancetta slowly till golden brown, but not dry or overcooked. The pancetta should still be juicy. Add pancetta, and all its fat, to the strained liquid. Cool in refrigerator. Before serving the dressing, mix in ground peppercorns.
  3. Basil Oil: Blanch basil and spinach in boiling salted water for 5 seconds. Quickly chill in ice bath. Ring out excess water using cheesecloth. Leaves should be dry and vibrant green. put all ingredients in blender, and blend till smooth. Check seasoning. Strain. Pour into a small squeeze bottle.
  4. Salad: Take 2 tomato slices, and place each in the center of a plate.
  5. Sauté the onions in heated olive oil. Then quickly add in the spinach and the dressing. Pan should be very hot, so the spinach will wilt fast.
  6. Quickly remove spinach with tongs, and stack up half on each plated tomato. Reserve dressing in the pan.
  7. Place a slice of tomato on top of each spinach stack. Then stack half of greens on each upper tomato. This "tower" should be stable.
  8. Pour warm dressing from pan on top of the greens. Be careful not to topple the stacks. Do not flood the plate with dressing.
  9. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top, to taste.
  10. Garnish plate with a circle of basil oil just inside the rim of plate. Clean any grease or fingerprints from rim.

Yield: 2 servings

Posted by Tiffany at Recipe Goldmine 2/13/2002 10:04 am.


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