Spinach Salad with Crispy Prosciutto, Pickled Red Onion, California Golden Raisins and Chèvre-stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 

Pickled onions play a tasty role in this salad, where Chef Downs balances contrasting flavors and ingredients to create a delicious whole.


Sherry Wine Vinaigrette
1/4 cup (2 oz.) sherry wine vinegar
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. fresh parsley
2 tsp. fresh chives
1/2 cup (4 oz.) extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pickled Onions
2 cups rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 red onions, sliced

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers
12 oz. chèvre
1 tbsp. chives
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. lemon zest
4 canned piquillo peppers, rinsed

2 cups California golden raisins
4 cups dry sherry wine
2 cups slivered prosciutto
1 cup Marcona almonds
1 lb. (3 cups) baby spinach, stemmed and washed


  1. Prepare Sherry Wine Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in jar with tight-fitting lid and set aside.
  2. Prepare Pickled Onions: In saucepan, simmer vinegar, sugar, bay leaf and mustard seeds. Blanch onions in hot water bath for 30 sec. While hot, drain and add to saucepan; set aside.
  3. Prepare Chèvre-stuffed Piquillo Peppers: Blend cheese with chives, seasonings, parsley and zest. Mix well; divide and stuff peppers with cheese mixture. Chill.
  4. Prepare Salad: Combine raisins and sherry in small bowl; set aside to plump for 1 hr. In dry skillet, fry prosciutto; drain excess fat and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F and toast almonds for 10 min. or until very lightly browned and fragrant.
  5. To serve: Warm Vinaigrette for 20 sec. in sauté pan. Drain raisins and stir into pan; remove from heat. Combine spinach, vinaigrette, Pickled Onions and almonds in large mixing bowl; toss to combine. Add prosciutto. Divide salad among 4 bowls; top each with a piquillo pepper.
Source: Courtesy of the California Raisin Marketing Board

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
star wars storm trooper

My favorite event—because I’m kind of dorky—is our “May the fourth be with you” (aka “Star Wars”) day on May 4. The whole dining team dresses up, and we offer things like Chewbaklava, Boba Fettuccine and BB-8 Buckeyes. We had a guest cry because they got to take a picture with Chewy.

Menu Development
spilled coffee beans glasses

Following an initial test at the end of May, Starbucks announced that more than 500 of its stores will be pouring nitro coffee by the end of summer. Capitalizing on the cold-brew coffee trend—which reached $7.9 million in sales in 2015 on 115% growth from the previous year, according to researcher Mintel—select U.S. cafes will give up the counter space to serve the creamy, nitrogen-infused java made from the cold-brew base. But how did nitro become the hottest new thing in coffee?

Bringing the bar to coffeehouses

It was the chrome double tap, similar to a bar’s beer tap, and the...

Ideas and Innovation
tray number

We created lucky tray days to help create an experience surrounding our brand. The trays are numbered; we pick a number and the winner receives a free lunch. We’ve enlisted the help of one of our coaches, who calls out the random lucky winner, and it drums up a lot of excitement.

Menu Development
recipe revamp chicken soup

As a continuous care retirement community, The Garlands of Barrington in Illinois provides daily foodservice to 270 independent living and skilled nursing care residents, with the majority of sodium restrictions coming from the latter, says Executive Chef Nicola Torres. Instead of cooking two versions of chicken noodle soup—a favorite offered at least twice a week—he reworked his recipe into a flavorful lower-sodium version that appeals to all. “Everybody eats soup, so I created a homemade stock that uses no salt at all, ramping up the flavor with fresh herbs and plenty of vegetables,...

FSD Resources