My relationship with salad has become stagnant. Boring. Dullsville. I have been relying on my standby of plain ol’ “side” salad for too long. That’s not to say I don’t still like the old classic: crunchy iceburg lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, maybe a little cheddar and diced avocado for a little treat, all joined together by everyone’s favorite, Ranch dressing.
Sure, that little salad has gotten my through life so far, but we’ve reached a plateau. It’s about time I upped my salad game, dear readers, and this simple little dish is just what I was looking for.
I wouldn’t say that I like spinach. I don’t dislike it by any means, but it’s not my favorite. If it is cooked in something (like a dip or those spinach tortillas or made into noodles), I’m all about it, but raw spinach? Eh, I could take it or leave it.
My husband loves spinach. I make him salads a lot to eat for lunch throughout the week and they are always spinach-based because spinach is really so good for you. It is high in folate, vitamins, iron, dietary fibers… I could go on. That all being said, when it came time to see what kind of salad-trouble I can get into, I started with a simple google search: Spinach Salad.
There are soooooo many combinations out there! They all look really good too! I found a few recipes that look really good and I can’t wait to try. The best part is they are all so simple. Only a few ingredients and a dressing and you’ve got yourself a healthy salad. I figure you could serve any of them as a side dish or even a main meal, if you wanted.
This warm spinach salad is the most common one I found, with lots of different recipes for it. The first recipe I came across was from Alton Brown, so I knew it would be good. I was right, it was delicious. And calling “warm” is a bit misleading. The dressing is warm, but the salad was more room temperature.
Heed my warning, though, and don’t make the same mistake I did. This makes a lot of salad. I broke the cardinal rule of all salad-making and I dressed the whole thing right away, even though I knew we weren’t going to finish it that night. The next day, the texture was way off and it was just not good. I mean the flavor was still there and the rest of the components were yummy, but the spinach itself did not hold up. So, unless you are planning on finishing the whole thing, just dress individual portions. Or make less.
Alton Brown’s Warm Spinach Salad
8oz package of baby spinach
8 strips of bacon, diced
2 eggs, hardboiled and sliced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
**4 large white mushrooms, sliced
**3 ounced red onion, thinly sliced
*This was my own addition and it was delicious
**Note: I do not like mushrooms, so I didn’t include them. I didn’t include the onion either because forgot to pick one up from the store and I didn’t want to go back just for one thing. You understand.**
Wash and dry the spinach. Put into a large bowl with the walnuts, egg, mushrooms, and onion. Set aside.
In a pan, fry the bacon, remove from the pan and dab with a paper towel. Add to the spinach.
Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pan. You can get rid of the rest. To the grease, add the red wine vinegar, sugar, mustard, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Wisk over low heat until well combined.
Pour the dressing on the salad and toss.
Serve as an entree or side.