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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Down home salad

Photo and text by KARA DICAMILLO/ News contributor

Some of the best lunches evolve from leftovers. For this recipe I used leftover ham, but you can substitute that with bacon or pancetta, or even leave the meat out completely.

I combined the ham with fresh spinach from my CSA, as well as red onion and beans to make it a hearty lunch that can easily be heated in the microwave. It’s so much more delicious, and better for you, than a take-out lunch.

Warm Spinach and Bean Salad
Serves 2

Quarter cup of olive oil
Half cup of red onion, sliced thin

Quarter cup of ham, chopped

1 can of white beans, such as cannellini or great northern, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper

Half teaspoon of thyme, chopped

Teaspoon of parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
2 cups of fresh spinach

A pinch of red pepper flakes

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the red onion. Once the onion has softened and is translucent, add the ham and the beans, and sauté for about a minute or until heated through.

Add the salt, pepper, thyme and parsley, as well as the red wine vinegar. Stir to mix the ingredients and then add the spinach and the red pepper flakes. Continue sautéing until the spinach has wilted slightly (I like mine a bit crisp) and serve warm.