Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

A traditional spinach salad with bacon, hard-cooked eggs, mushrooms. Such a classic and ever so satisfying. Plus bonus: a great way to use leftover Easter eggs.

Just before the green begins there is the hint of green

a blush of color, and the red buds thicken

the ends of the maple's branches and everything

is poised before the start of a new world,

which is really the same world

just moving forward from bud

to flower to blossom to fruit

to harvest to sweet sleep, and the roots

 await the next signal
- from "April Prayer"
by poet Stuart Kestenbaum
via Writer's Almanac

Spring eased into Missouri some time in the past weeks, overnight, it must have been, since on no one day was its arrival a certainty. In the local paper, the letters to the editor take on this new season’s controversy, whether chickens, especially the crowing roosters, make good neighbors.

More families, it seems, are putting chicken coops in the back yard. To some, this is an unwelcome intrusion in suburban tranquility. To others, it’s a pastoral return to our rural roots.

If tomato stakes, then why not chickens? Surely, there’s room in our great spaces for animals that feed us, along with the ones we feed.

(Besides, there's the cute factor, like Noodle Soup, Salad Sandwich and Pot Pie over at 3ChixaDay.)

For families awash in leftover Easter eggs, this classic spinach salad is a welcome way to help reduce their number to that of perhaps one or two fertile hens. But even if you must boil some eggs especially for the salad, it is a reminder of how simple ingredients can yield something completely satisfying.

HOW to SAVE 300 CALORIES and 9 WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS IN A SINGLE SERVING By accident, I left out an entire 2/3 cup of oil in the warm bacon dressing. I truly thought it was a typo! But what a happy accident! The bacon flavor isn’t watered (oiled?) down and the dressing remains warm and the lemon adds a bright sharpness. If the dressing is a little sharp for your taste, add a little more bacon fat but trust me, you'll need far less than 2/3 of a cup. Spring’s light is here, light food just seems right too.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.

CLASSIC RECIPE:
SPINACH SALAD with WARM BACON DRESSING

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 4
    DRESSING
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 strips bacon (see TIPS)
    SALAD
  • 12 ounces baby spinach, washed well and dried
  • 1 handful radish sprouts (see TIPS)
  • 4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped (if need be, Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs)
  • 1/2 a small red onion, peeled and sliced very thin into rings

DRESSING In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients except the bacon fat. Set aside for the flavors to meld – you know, to get all friendly and cozy together – while prepping the salad. In a small skillet, cook the bacon pieces until crispy, transfer bacon to a plate covered with a paper towel. Reserve two tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet, save the rest for another use.

SALAD While the bacon cooks, prep the spinach, mushrooms, eggs and onion.

COMBINE Just before serving, if needed, rewarm the 2 tablespoons bacon fat, then stir in the lemon mixture (it will sizzle). In a large bowl, toss the spinach and sprouts with the warm dressing until the leaves are evenly covered. Gently stir in the cooked bacon pieces, mushrooms, eggs and onion. Transfer to serving plates. Serve and savor!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 209Cal; 14g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 125mg Cholesterol; 353mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 2g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 10g Protein; Weight Watchers 5 points This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized' with reductions in fat and increases in nutrient- and fiber-rich vegetables.
Adapted from Saveur, Issue 82

ALANNA’s TIPS At first, I thought it would be easier to cook the bacon in the oven (see my recipe for Baked Bacon). But for just a few strips, the skillet is faster. I love the lightness that sprouts add to a salad. In this salad, however, radish sprouts also add radish bite, good contrast to the creamy eggs and sharp dressing.

Do you have a favorite salad recipe that Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com.
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More Salad Suppers

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Chicken Greek Salad Shrimp Salad Recipes Tropical Pork Tenderloin
~ more salad suppers from Kitchen Parade ~

~ more salad suppers from A Veggie Venture ~

More Ways to Use Up Leftover Easter Eggs

~ Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ~
~ Homemade Cobb Salad ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Creamed Eggs with Spinach ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ cooked egg recipes ~
a collection from my fellow food bloggers



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I *love* warm spinach salad, but hardly ever make it (I wonder why?). This looks absolutely fabulous Alanna.

We had a wonderful side dish at brunch yesterday that I've never had. Asparagus, boiled eggs and corn in a cream sauce! It was delicious. Ever heard of it?
 
Mmm, sounds yummy, Alanna. Must try with the farm-fresh eggs, bacon, spinach I'm getting these days. Love the poem fragment, too.
 
My grandmother used to make this many years ago when I was a child, and I had forgotten about it! Thanks for reminding me. No little ones around anymore, so I don't have any leftover Easter eggs, but I don't mind making them so I can have this yummy salad once again. The only thing is the spinach then was big and curly, and now all I can find is baby spinach. I want some of the curly kind!!
 
It looks delicious! Not to mention that it's also a healthy accident. Yum!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna