Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
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© Paden Reich
Bacon is a great gateway to salads. In my experience, add bacon to any salad and it’s infinitely more appetizing. This salad, for example, was a recipe we did for a grilling episode of the show. I wasn’t excited about the strawberries (because I’m not a big fan) and Tom, Wolfie, and my brother Patrick weren’t enthused about the salad. But when you combine strawberries with a tangy dressing and warm, crisp bacon, it simply works. If only we had taken before and after pictures that day. Skeptical faces morphed into very pleased, well-fed chins. I mean faces. This salad is also a great dish to bring to a potluck. For a good summer dinner, I like pairing this with my burgers, and if Wolfie’s around, I’ll make sweet potato fries, too, because he loves those.
1. Place the bacon in a skillet. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes.
2. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings in the skillet.
3. Add the sugar and mustard to the skillet, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
4. Combine the spinach, strawberries, shallot, and bacon in a bowl. Pour the bacon vinaigrette over the salad; toss to coat. Serve immediately.
This is when I like to fry up my bacon because I’m using the bacon drippings for my warm dressing.
4 to 6 bacon slices, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces baby spinach
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (about 7 ounces)
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
Hands on time