February 2015

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Side That Eats Like a Salad

By Troy Gagliardo | Photography by Richard Rudisill

Posted: Monday, May. 12, 2014

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

"Chef Troy" Gagliardo hosts a weekly cooking segment called "Troy's Everyday Eats" live every Tuesday on WCCB News Rising from 7 to 9 a.m. He has made over 300 appearances on the show showcasing over 1000 of his unique original recipes. He was also voted one of the Top Five best chefs in Charlotte in 2013. Troy has penned a cookbook called Pseudo Southern, which has been endorsed by celebrity chef and best selling author Fabio Viviani. His business Motown Spice Provisions supplies some of the top restaurants and country clubs in the greater Charlotte area for the past 10 years. He is a self-taught chef who learned early on the importance of family and food, and the connection between both, from his parents and grandparents. Contact him at troygagliardo@gmail.com. Visit www.cheftroy.net, and follow Troy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

There are those vegetables that we dislike when prepared a certain way. For example I am a fan of raw or wilted spinach but not cooked. Spinach cooks down to a mush like consistency which to me is an unpleasant texture.

Spinach, whether baby, full leaf or even over grown is incredibly crisp and vibrant all on its own. This side dish, that eats more like a salad, is just a shade past raw…and nowhere near mush. Making a simple, light sauce/dressing with bacon dripping, mustard, garlic and vinegar makes the perfect match to chopped hard eggs and pickled onions.

Give this one a shot, but be sure to allow the dressing to cool down enough so the spinach doesn’t end up mushy. Dress the spinach lightly and make sure to coat the leaves, this is truly one of the best flavor combinations you will ever try.

For more great recipes like this one watch Chef Troy live every week on WCCB Charlotte “Tuesdays with Troy” 7-9 am and be sure to visit his website www.cheftroy.net

Warm Spinach, Hard Eggs and Pickled Onions

•6 Cups-Baby Spinach
•3 Strips-Bacon-cut into thin strips
•2 Cloves-Fresh Garlic-sliced thin
•2 Tablespoons-Red Wine Vinegar
•1 Tablespoon-Dijon Mustard
•To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper/Crushed Red Pepper
•2 Each-Hard Cooked Eggs-peeled and chopped
•To Taste-Pickled Red Onion-see recipe below


1.Warm a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add bacon.
2.Cook until crispy, removed with slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate.
3.Lower heat to medium, add mustard, vinegar and whisk to combine.
4. Add garlic, cook for one minute and remove from heat.
5.Add spinach and toss to coat, slightly wilting, season with salt/pepper/crushed red pepper.
6.Place in serving platter or individual plates, top with egg, pickled onions and serve.

Pickled Onions

•1 Each-Red Onion-medium size, sliced (not too thin)
•1 Tablespoon-Kosher Salt
•1 Tablespoon-Granulated Sugar
•1 Cup-Unseasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
•1 Clove-Garlic-sliced
•A Few-Peppercorns
• A Pinch-Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


1.Combine salt, sugar with vinegar until dissolved, add garlic, peppercorns, crushed red pepper and stir.
2.Add onions stir to combine and let sit for 10 minutes.
3.Add onions to a small sterilized jar and pour over vinegar mixture.
4.Place in refrigerator overnight, will last in fridge for a couple weeks.

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