Spinach and Bacon Salad
November 07, 2009

Spinach and Bacon Salad

A few weeks ago, the boy-fiance left on a business trip and after dropping him off at the airport, I went to the store because we were out of milk and trash bags. Oh, and it was around 7am on a Sunday and breakfast hadn't even occurred to me yet. Until I was wandering the store and realized that I could buy...BACON.

Now, it's not that I can't normally buy bacon, it's just not something we tend to keep on hand. I might buy a strip or two for a recipe, but you'll never find a whole slab of bacon around here...just because. So I bought bacon. And I made myself a fabulous bacon, egg and english muffin breakfast.

A few hours later, closer to lunch time, I thought maybe I'd have some more bacon...because why not? I had a whole thing of it just sitting in the fridge. SOMEONE had to eat it. But, truthfully, I felt a little bit bad about eating bacon for two consecutive meals. So I took a look in the fridge, and found a bag of spinach that needed to be used. I could make a salad WITH BACON! That's sort of healthy, right? At least it felt healthier than just eating bacon by itself (not that there's anything wrong with that).

So I whipped up the salad in the above photo using items that I already had in the fridge. It's nothing elaborate, but bacon is definitely the star and it made for a mighty fine lunch.

Spinach, Bacon and Red Onion Salad

For the salad:
4-5 slices of bacon
1/4 to half a red onion
1/2 to 3/4of a bag of baby spinach
Parmesan cheese to taste

For the dressing:
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp dijon mustard
2-3 tbsp olive oil (possibly more to bring the dressing together)
salt and pepper

Fry that bacon up in your favorite frying pan until it's nice and crispy. Drain on paper towels. When it's cool enough to handle, crumble into large-ish pieces. For the red onion, slice it as thin as humanly possible. I like the flavor of red onion, but it can be a bit overwhelming raw. I've seen recipes where you soak sliced red onion in cold water for 10 or 15 minutes to mellow it out a bit. I might try that next time I make this.

For the dressing, juice the lemon into a small bowl. Add the mustard and whisk together, slowly add the olive oil while whisking everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste. (If that's a bit too vague for you, there's a simple vinaigrette recipe over on Orangette that would probably work just as well.)

I prefer my salads pre-dressed, so this is pretty much how I assemble all my salads: place the heavier bits (bacon and onions) in the bottom bottom of a large bowl, and the lettuce on top (in this case, spinach). Add a bit of the salad dressing and with a spatula, fold everything together. If necessary add more dressing and fold everything together again. Top with the Parmesan cheese, and serve.

This makes a generous portion for one person, or could definitely be split between 2 or 3 people if serving with something else.



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© Whitney Brandt-Hiatt: All writing, images, and photogrpahy are the property of Whitney Brandt-Hiatt unless otherwise noted.