Monday, January 4, 2010

Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Red Onion


I eat a simple spinach salad nearly every evening to start my dinner, usually topped with apple slices, nuts, and a store-bought vinaigrette. It's quite palatable, but I started the habit more to ensure that I got my daily servings of fruits and vegetables than as a way to tickle my taste buds. The following spinach salad, however, is an entirely different story. It's bloody delicious--eating it is a privilege rather than an obligation. Of course, any time you add a whole package of bacon to a salad you lose any right to call it healthy, but it's definitely worth making nonetheless. It turns out a dressing made from bacon fat is a pretty good idea.

Recipe by The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
  • 10 oz. baby spinach (flat-leaf)
  • 10 oz. bacon (10 slices), chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
Place the spinach in a large bowl. Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and pour off all but 4 tablespoons of the fat. I recommend saving the extra fat in the refrigerator for another use--for instance, it makes for some damn-good cornbread. Add the olive oil to the bacon fat in the skillet and return to medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper and cook until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the vinegar, then pour immediately over the spinach and toss to wilt. It is important to perform this step quickly, while the dressing is still hot, to achieve the optimal texture of the spinach. Portion the salad onto individual plates and garnish with the bacon and hard-boiled eggs.

Yield: 4-6 servings
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: 30 minutes
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 45 minutes


  1. bacon makes everything better, should be the foodie's mantra


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