The other night, we were looking for a quick and easy salad to serve with our Herb Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce. (Recipe will follow this week.) We did a quick google search and came up with this wilted spinach salad recipe. It was offered through the What's Cooking America website.
We liked it because it had few ingredients, we were able to cook the bacon ahead of time, and the vinaigrette cook minutes to complete. Because we eat cold salads on a regular basis, we forget how good a warm salad tastes. With a little bit of red onion and chopped bacon, it was delicious. I wish the picture of the salad was better. Sometimes the kitchen lights at night are not conducive for picture taking.
If we were going to make this more of a meal, we could add chopped eggs, craisins and a few walnuts. Grilled chicken would be good, too. This recipe is a great base and you can dress it up with your favorite likes.
6 cups (5-ounces) fresh spinach leaves, washed, dried, and chilled
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/4 teaspoon coarse or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
Remove stems and veins from spinach and tear into bite-sized pieces; place spinach in a large bowl.
In a small frying pan over medium heat, fry bacon approximately 5 minutes or until crisp; transfer with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in pan. Return frying pan to medium heat; add oil, onion, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened. Add balsamic vinegar; swirl to incorporate.
Pour warm dressing over spinach and toss gently to wilt (when properly wilted, the leaf edges soften slightly, but the spinach retains some crunch). Sprinkle bacon over spinach and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.