Strawberry Spinach Salad With Goat Cheese, Pancetta and Bourbon-Candied Pecans
Makes 2 salads. Recipe is by Helana Brigman.
1 (8-oz.) bag whole pecans
6 tbls. salted butter
1?3 cup brown sugar
1?3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbl. honey
1?3 cup good-quality bourbon
2 cups spinach, washed
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup strawberries, stems removed and halved
2 ozs. semisoft goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Bourbon-Candied Pecans (see recipe)
1 oz. pancetta
Light vinaigrette or balsamic vinegar
1. Prepare pecans: Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a baking sheet with butter. Spread pecans evenly over the surface and toast for 3-5 minutes.
2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, whisking in brown and white sugar, vanilla, honey and bourbon. Toss toasted pecans in glaze and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes, or until mixture has reduced by one-fourth and pecans are thickly coated. Turn off heat and cool for 5 minutes.
3. On a clean surface lined with parchment paper, spread pecans in a single, thick layer and somewhat close together. Cool until candied pecans have hardened, break up and serve on salads or as a snack.
4. Prepare salad: Plate spinach, tomatoes, strawberries, goat cheese and Bourbon-Candied Pecans, tossing to combine. In a small nonstick skillet, cook pancetta until crispy. Crumble pancetta and sprinkle over salad. Serve salad with a light vinaigrette or balsamic vinegar.