Kel’s Splendid Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Kel's Splendid Spinach salad

I love tossed salads with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, but not in the winter since these ingredients are not at their best. So during this time of the year, I reach instead for this yummy spinach salad with an awesome warm bacon dressing (of course a dressing is going to be awesome with bacon in it — need I say more!)

Instead of using raw mushrooms in this salad, I sauté them in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and season with a little bit of salt and pepper — they are much tastier to me when prepared this way. But if you don’t want to go to the trouble, you can just skip this step and add them raw.

The dressing is what makes this salad so incredible. Just make sure to serve it warm so that the bacon grease doesn’t become solid.

Ingredients (for 2 large or 4 side salads)

Kel's Spinach salad with warm bacon dressing ingredients

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 8 slices thick-sliced bacon (2 will be used in the dressing)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. mushrooms (I used baby bellas, but choose your favorite)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 5 oz. baby spinach, stems removed
  • ¼ large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. bleu cheese, crumbled

Warm Bacon Dressing Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 shallot, diced small
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices bacon (from above), crumbled

Preparation (Salad)

Boil the eggs, let them cool, peel and slice. I shamelessly recommend using Pampered Chef’s egg slicer plus for this step!

Pampered Chef egg slicer

Cut bacon into small slices and fry until nice and crispy. Place on paper towels to absorb any grease.

Drain bacon on paper towel

Save the bacon drippings for the dressing.

Bacon grease for dressing

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms are tender, and keep warm until ready to use. You may need to drain these in a colander if there is any leftover oil.

Sauteed mushrooms

Place spinach in a large salad bowl. Add sliced eggs, onion, bacon pieces, bleu cheese crumbles and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with warm bacon dressing (recipe below) on the side.

Kel's spinach salad with dressing on the side

Preparation (Dressing)

In a large saucepan, heat the bacon grease, add the garlic and shallots, and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Whisk in the vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard. Add the bacon crumbles.

Warm bacon dressing

Place the dressing in a small container to serve with the salad.

Spinach salad served

I like this salad as a meal since it combines veggies and proteins, but it makes a great side as well, especially with a nice bowl of soup.

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Follow Kel’s Café of All Things Food on Twitter at: @kelscafe






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