Baby Spinach, Pancetta and Shiitake Mushroom Salad

Shiitake mushrooms are a natural match with spinach.  Add a little pancetta into the mix and you'll have a flavorful salad to serve as a starter or main dish.

I’m a huge fan of shiitake mushrooms.  Their earthy, smoky flavor and slightly meaty consistency make eating them a satisfying experience for me.  That might be the reason they’re the second most popular mushrooms consumed in the world.
 

A Little Mushroom Knowledge

Shiitake mushrooms originated in Japan and range in color from tan to dark brown.
  • Be gentle with them, they bruise easily.
  • Shiitake mushrooms originated in Japan and range in color from tan to dark brown.
  • Be gentle with them, they bruise easily.
  • The great mushroom washing debate – Should you wash or wipe mushrooms?  Shiitake mushrooms can stay out of this debate.  You usually don’t have to wash or wipe them before using.
  • They store best in a paper bag in your vegetable crisper drawer.
  • They can last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
This recipe can be served as a starter or as a main dish.  I had it for lunch the next day after testing the recipe.  The baby spinach held up well and the flavors from in the mushrooms were even better the next day.  Bring this to work for lunch, you’ll be happy and satisfied.
 

What You’ll Need

Salad:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil + 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1/4 cup Pancetta, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese shavings for garnish (optional)
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette*

*Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

You can make the vinaigrette in a medium-sized bowl or mason jar.  If using a bowl, add balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and dijon mustard.  Whisk until combined. While continuing to whisk, slowly stream in olive oil until combined.  If using a mason jar, add balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard.  Shake vigorously until combined.  Slowly pour in olive oil, then shake vigorously again until combined.  Balsamic Vinaigrette will keep for 2 – 3 days refrigerated.

 
Salad Recipe Variation
This salad can be made into a vegetarian dish by substituting the chicken broth for vegetable broth and omitting the pancetta.  Adjust the salt and pepper amounts to taste.

Baby Spinach, Pancetta and Shiitake Mushroom Salad

A flavorful salad to serve as a starter or main dish.

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword main course salad, Side salad, spinach salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 86 kcal
Author Lisa Marie Todd

Ingredients

  • cup  sliced shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • tablespoon  chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • teaspoons  reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • teaspoons  apple cider vinegar
  • ¼  teaspoon  Kosher salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1/4  cup  pancetta chopped
  • 1/4  cup  red onion diced
  • bag Baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese shavings for garnish optional

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth and soy sauce. Cook until liquid is absorbed in mushrooms.
  3. Remove from heat and add vinegar, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Transfer to a small bowl, set aside and allow to cool.
  4. In the same pan over medium-high heat, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add pancetta and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add red onion and cook for another 2 minutes or until onion is softened and pancetta has crisp to your liking.
  6. Transfer the onion and pancetta to the bowl with mushrooms and gently mix well.
  7. In a large bowl add baby spinach and mushroom, pancetta, onion mixture. Gently toss together.
  8. Lightly dress salad with balsamic vinaigrette and toss gently.
  9. Top with Parmesan cheese shavings on individual servings if desired. Serve immediately.
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