Warm Spinach and Basil Salad [recipe] – Pesto, Plated

Warm Spinach Basil Salad with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts

I used to hate basil.

Thank God I grew out of that phase of stupidity.

Dr. Andersen served this Warm Spinach and Basil Salad with our Christmas Eve dinner, right after the Oyster Stew and perfectly timed just before the Barefoot Contessa Lamb that was slow-roasted until the meat fell apart into the gorgeous, gamey equivalent of cotton candy. The salad is something like the spinach salad with warm bacon dressing you always have, but really, nothing like it at all.
Warm Spinach and Basil Salad

Warm Spinach and Basil Salad

“We’ve taken the flavors of pesto and combined them in a new treat for basil lovers.”
from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook

serves 6

Salad Ingredients

6 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves (1 large bunch)
½ cup best-quality olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup pine nuts (pignoli)
4 ounces prosciutto, diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¾ freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Toss the spinach and basil together in a large salad bowl.

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and pine nuts and saute until nuts begin to brown slightly. Stir in prosciutto and cook 1 minute more Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss spinach and basil with warm dressing and sprinkle salad with Parmesan. Serve immediately and pass the peppermill.

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  • http://www.thelittlefoodie.com Mariko

    Yes, thank goodness you grew out of that phase! This sounds luscious, especially with that prosciutto.
    But you do realize, right, that you mentioned the lamb in such a way as to announce a secret you aren’t going to tell.

  • http://www.thecattylife.com catty

    mmmm basil. I do love me some basil! HAPPY NEW YEAR Sarah – I hope you have an awesome new year with friends and family and loved ones and great food and wine and… you know how it goes. Thanks for sharing weird, wonderful and sometimes absurd factoids of your foodie life through your blog and twitter. I’m glad to have met you in person well, not technically this year but close enough. Have a great holiday! x

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  • http://mybflikeitsoimbg.blogspot.com Peggy

    This salad sounds perfect! I’m not a fan of an overload of basil, but this sounds great!

  • mel ch

    now could you figure out a way to update that old spinach + strawberry salad?

  • debra joy

    This sounds SO delicious. Not enough recipes in the world include basil.

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  • http://www.thebitesizedblog.com Jessica

    This simple salad looks mouthwateringly fresh and delicious. I’m looking for recipes for a dinner party I am throwing for my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary and this salad looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing. 

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  • Kaitlin

    My mom has been making this salad from that cookbook for YEARS! I remember her serving it at parties when I was like, 10 years old. I request it every year for my birthday dinner, but I’ll be making it myself for the first time tomorrow!

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  • Brenda Gehring

    My first experience with this salad was when my at that time sister-in-law made it for Easter. I lost my copy of the recipe and was happy to have found it on the internet. It’s been one of my favorites. An elegant, easy and delicious recipe for dinner parties.

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