Seeds from one pomegranate, seeded and pith removed
4 ounces parmigiano reggiano, or good quality parmesan cheese, divided into 1 ounce and 3 ounce portions
2 good handfuls of basil (2 small packages worth), stems removed
2 t whole grain dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 french baguette, thinly sliced
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Finely chop basil in a food processor. Remove half the basil and place in a small bowl and set aside. Add mustard and vinegar to the remaining basil in the food processor and pulse to combine. Slowly add 1/2 cup olive oil to create an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Add 1/3 cup of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the bowl of basil that you set aside. Place baguette slices in a baking pan and drizzle with basil and olive oil mixture. Grate one ounce of parmigiano reggiano and sprinkle over croutons. Toss to thoroughly coat. Bake 8 to 10 minutes to crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a large bowl toss spinach with dressing. Mound spinach on individual serving plates. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over spinach. Top with each salad with shaved parmigiano reggiano and 2-3 croutons.