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Monday, September 1, 2008

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Just a quick fly by post. We just wrapped up Evan's birthday party. Why are parties such an exhausting event? I only made one "fancy" item and the rest was just BBQ food.

Well anyway, here's the one fancy food item I made. Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing from the summer/fall 2008 Cosmopolitan magazine. Bad, bad, I know, but it was a free sample! The caption for the meal was "Make Him a Meal He'll Devour". Let's just sat Steve wasn't devouring this, but the mushrooms went well on his cheddar bacon burgers! I enjoyed it as did the in-laws and my parents. It's worth trying again.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

5 slices bacon
1 1/2 T finely chopped shallots
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1 to 2 T honey mustard (I used 2)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

8 c. fresh spinach leaves, stems removed (oops, didn't remove the stems)
8 oz. white button mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 c.)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1. For the dressing, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 2 T fat from the skillet. Heat the remaining fat over medium-high heat and add the shallots; cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a simmer; remove skillet from the heat.

2. For the salad, toss together the spinach, bacon, mushrooms, and onion into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad; toss to combine. Serve warm.

This salad does not keep well, so be sure to eat it all up! I was also able to use my "new" vintage Pyrex bowls. They're so pretty...

I also baked my bacon in the oven instead of on the stove top. Did you know you can bake bacon? I lined a cookie sheet with foil and laid out all the bacon slices in the pan. I set the oven to 350 degrees and put in the pan when the oven was preheated. I cooked for about 10-15 minutes and flipped the bacon and continued cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until desired crispness was reached. I then drained some of the fat into a skillet and continued cooking the dressing from there. It worked quite well and was a whole lot less messy than cooking the bacon in a skillet. Plus I could walk away from the oven and do other things!

Happy Labor Day!


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