Spinach Salad w/Warm Bacon Dressing

Serves 4        Who knew it was so easy to fix a fresh spinach salad with warm bacon dressing? I like the salad and have even tried the bottled dressings – but wasn’t happy with any of them. Then I ran across this recipe somewhere online, printed it and set it aside. For a while. Now I don’t even recall where it originated….but I can’t take credit for it. I’m sharing the basic recipe, although some people also like to add chopped hard boiled eggs and/or chopped nuts to their salad. Sometimes I do too.

 

Ingredients

4-6 cups fresh spinach leaves – washed and dried well

1 small red onion – cut in half, lengthwise and sliced thin

1 Tbsp olive oil

2-4 pieces of thick bacon, cut into 1/2” slices

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (I like Katz/Gravenstein cider vinegar)

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

pinch Kosher salt

 

Directions

In saute pan, heat the olive oil and slowly cook the red onions until they are soft and nearly caramelized. Remove from heat,  and set aside.

 

In a heated larger skillet, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove pieces from  the pan and place on a paper towel to drain. Reserve about 3 Tbsp of the bacon grease for the dressing. Add olive oil if needed.

 

Add the sugar, Dijon, and salt and *whisk over med-low heat until the mixture starts to bubble, then cook it for about 1 minute more. Stir in the onion mixture, including any liquid, and mix well. Adjust seasoning as needed. Too tart? Add a bit more sugar. Too flat? Add a bit more salt. Then let it cool a little while you build the salad. (You don’t want the dressing to be too hot or it will wilt the spinach instead of dressing it.)

 

Put spinach and bacon pieces in a large salad bowl. Pour the warm dressing with onions over it and toss well. Serve immediately.

 

*Note:  I use a flat whisk for this. Something I picked up at Sur la Table years ago and find I use a lot. It is especially nice for making gravy.