Warm Turkey and Spinach Salad with Crispy Pancetta and Cranberry Vinaigrette
5 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)
Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro
2 small poblano peppers
4 cups chopped leftover cooked turkey
6 cups prewashed spinach
2 cups torn Boston lettuce
2 ounces pancetta
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce or leftover cranberry relish
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
How to Make It
To prepare salad, preheat broiler. Cut peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel and chop peppers.
Combine peppers, turkey, spinach, and lettuce in a large bowl.
To prepare vinaigrette, cook the pancetta in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove pancetta from pan; chop and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Add shallots and garlic to pan, and sauté for 1 minute or until tender. Stir in the cranberry sauce, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat 2 minutes or until warm. Pour warm vinaigrette over the salad; toss. Top with pancetta. Serve immediately.
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It was an ok salad. I couldn't find Boston Lettuce, so I just used the spinach. Pancetta was a nice touch, but the leftover cranberry sauce was WAY too sweet for the rest of the salad. Peeling the poblanos was tedious, although I did figure out that it was easier to scrape off the blackening with a serrated knife.
In the future, I would probably roast a variety of different peppers to add some color, add about 8 more ounces of Pancetta, and cut the cranberry sauce down to maybe 2 heaping tablespoons. Also, top it all off with shaved block extra sharp cheddar to cut the sweetness. Tossing with some walnuts would probably improve it too.
I didn't really like this salad. I admit I didn't follow the recipe to a T but even if I had I don't think I would have liked it. I didn't have the Boston Lettuce, so it was all spinach, also didn't have pancetta so I used bacon, also didn't have a poblano pepper so I used a regular green pepper. I didn't think the roasted pepper went with the flavors at all and I don't think it would have mattered if I had used a poblano. I guess it just had no wow factor like I was expecting. I ate it all but wouldn't make it again.
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