Best Spinach Salad in the World – just sayin’

by Michelle

I realise my title sounds a little over the top but trust me this recipe is a keeper! It is perfect to serve over the holidays when you want to indulge in decadent foods. Serve it as a starter to a formal dinner party or as the main at a luncheon.

Ralph and I love to entertain over the holidays. There is something magical about inviting our family and friends into our home and sharing the excitement of the season.

It leaves us feeling very blessed!

The Best Spinach Salad in the World

serves 6

preheat oven 275*

6 large handfuls of baby spinach, washed and dried

375g fresh mozzarella, divided evenly into 6 portions

12 thin slices proscuitto

2 tablespoons butter

3 medium vine ripe tomatoes

1 clove garlic, sliced into slivers

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Halve tomatoes and place in small baking dish

Divide garlic slivers between tomato halves – pushing slivers into the tomato

Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with dried thyme and season with sea salt and pepper.

Place in pre-heated oven and roast for 2 hours.

While the tomatoes are roasting, wrap each portion of mozzarella with 2 slices of proscuitto, making sure none of the cheese is exposed. You will feel like you are making a snow ball!

Place wrapped cheese balls on a plate, cover with film wrap and refrigerate for 90 minutes

Prepare vinaigrette and set aside.

Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 T. minced shallot

1/2 cup tomato juice

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine the ingredients in a small pot and mix well. Let stand, loosely covered at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavours to heighten.

Place pot over low heat and warm slightly before serving.

To assemble salad:

Melt butter in a large skillet and bring to a froth

Place mozza wrapped balls in hot butter and brown evenly – cheese should still be firm.

Remove skillet from heat and place seared cheese balls on a small baking sheet and finish in the oven with tomatoes – about 5 minutes – you want the cheese warm and soft not totally melted

Add vinaigrette to the skillet with browned butter and whisk well.

Add spinach to the skillet and toss well – the heat from the skillet is enough to slightly wilt the spinach.

Divide spinach into 6 portions

Top with mozza ball and baked tomato half.

Serve immediately.

This salad is absolutely delicious! The tomato, soft and bursting with garlicky juice, the mozzarella, warm and gooey wrapped in crispy salty proscuitto – nestled on top of perfectly dressed slightly wilted greens. It is heaven on a plate…

Thanks for reading.