Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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Tag Archives: Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Here’s the thing about spinach salad: it’s seems slightly more exotic than your average salad, right? But in the end it’s just a salad, like every other salad: some green stuff, some other stuff, some dressing.
But it’s also the kind of salad that people have very strong opinions about. Most people either detest it with every fiber of their being, or have a strange fetish like love for the brilliant combination of raw spinach, salty bacon, and perfectly cooked, sunshine-yellow yoked eggs. I guess you can probably guess where I fall on the spectrum, can’t you?
Ordinary ingredients, but when you put them all together and dress them with a warm bacon vinaigrette — EXTRAORDINARY. Which I think is a lot like John Malkovich, who really is just a regular actor dude. But man, people either hate him or talk about him like he is George Clooney covered in gravy and OMG HAVE YOU EVER SEEN SOMETHING SO DELICIOUS, JOHN MALKOVICH HOLY CRAP?
I don’t know if I feel that extreme, but I have to say if he one day hopped on my elevator, I may just hit the emergency stop button. Who knows?
Wow, this has gotten very off topic, hasn’t it? I’m sorry but sometimes while I’m washing dishes I have these very long involved tangents in this crazy brain of mine, and dammit I started a blog so I could share these tangents WITH THE WORLD!!!
Now let’s talk about the best spinach salad. The best spinach salad has 6 ingredients. Anyone can handle 6 ingredients, right? You probably keep them on hand anyway!
1. Spinach — bet you didn’t see that coming, did ya? Baby spinach, preferably. A giant mound of it. This is your foundation — make it a good one!
2. Perfectly Cooked Hard Boiled Eggs — I’m sure you have opinions on how to cook the perfect hard boiled egg, everyone does. Now don’t go being stingy with the egg. Make plenty because you can always eat them later. Chop them up in slivers and top with some flake salt and some course black pepper.
3. Way Too Much Bacon — If I’m using a bag of Trader Joe’s baby spinach, I’m thinking at least half a pound of bacon. What? Don’t judge. Bacon makes everything better. You will never feel like there is too much bacon on this salad.
4. Tomatoes — Little cherry tomatoes, Multi-colored baby heirlooms, chunks of juicy beefsteaks — it doesn’t matter. Just get some tomatoes in there. The sweetness and acidity cut through all of that bacon. And when you do add the tomatoes, salt them just the teeniest bit!
5. Cheese of Choice — Get crazy here. Sometimes I throw in shredded cheese just sitting in our fridge. Sometimes I do parmesan if that’s all we’ve got. Sarah does Blue Cheese and I think that sounds AMAZING but have never tried it (gasp!) Just get some cheese in there!
6. Warm Bacon Vinaigrette — If you are a person who likes red onion in your spinach salad — this is where you get the best bang for your buck! After you are done cooking your bacon and pulling it from the pan, mix those delicious bacon renderings with some chopped up onion or shallots. You only need to caramelize them for a second, then stir in some dijon mustard, a touch of apple cider vinegar, and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Pour that baby straight from the pan right over the top of your greens.
After all of that, I promise that you will die happy. And if you pair it with a good John Malkovich movie and very full glass of red wine, you may even experience true spiritual enlightenment.
This is one of those recipes where the deliciousness of the actual end product is directly proportional to how unattractive the photos are. What I’m saying is his salad is kind of an ugly duckling. Don’t hate on her though, she’ll grow up to be a swan right about the time you scoop a little bit out onto your plate.
I had this salad at multiple CrossFit potlucks (it’s very Paleo Friendly) and finally decided I needed to figure out how to make it. Luckily there are recipes all over the internet, so I reviewed many of them to verify ingredients and then (as usual) eyeballed my own mixture (and used my own Warm Bacon Vinaigrette, which is THE BOMB, if I do say so myself!)
Try it out! It’s an easy, cruciferous side dish that is a little more exciting than your average salad.
Broccoli, Bacon and Apple Salad
Serves 4 as a side (or Two Broccoli Loving Adults)
2 small heads of broccoli, chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 apple chopped (I like Gala or Fuji or similarly sweet apples)
1/2 cup raisins
8 slices of bacon, diced
Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
2-4 TBS of Hot Bacon Renderings
1 Shallot, finely diced
1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Salt + Pepper to taste
1. Cook diced bacon over medium heat until browned. Err on the side of a little undercooked because they will be sitting and doing some carryover cooking while you assemble.
2. While bacon is cooking, add all other salad ingredients into a medium sized bowl and stir to combine.
3. Drain bacon renderings from pan leaving only about 2 to 4 TBS left in the pan. Add diced shallot and cook until softened about 2-3 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Add dijon mustar, vinegar and salt/pepper. Stir to combine.
5. Pour desired amount onto salad and toss. If you have an leftovers, throw in a glass jar in your fridge. To use again, just put glass jar in a pot of warm water on the stove and let warm up again.
I really think the dressing makes this salad. Oh, who am I kidding — the bacon too! This dressing is versatile and delicious, it is my go-to for Spinach Salads with lots of chopped hard boiled eggs and takes LITERALLY a few minutes to assemble and packs a punch of flavor.
I hope you love it!