Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette is a fabulous recipe that will make spinach lovers out of those spinach haters! This is an easy-to-make salad with just a few ingredients that makes for a satisfying dish. This salad that doubles as comfort food and impresses your family and friends at the same time. I am trying to infuse more dark greens into my diet and choosing this spinach salad is a great way to incorporate them.
Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe:
Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
6 cups (5-ounces) fresh spinach leaves, washed, dried, and chilled*
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/4 teaspoon coarse or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon good-quality aged balsamic vinegar**
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
* I like to use the fresh baby spinach leaves.
** To purchase good-quality balsamic vinegars, check out What's Cooking America's Gourmet Food Store.
Remove stems and veins from spinach (either discard or save for adding to your homemade soups). Tear spinach into bite-sized pieces; place spinach in a large bowl.
In a small frying pan over medium heat, fry bacon approximately 5 minutes or until crisp; transfer the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Leaving approximately 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan.
When bacon has cooled, crumble it into small pieces and then set aside.
Return frying pan to medium heat; add olive oil, onion, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened. Add balsamic vinegar; swirl to incorporate. Remove from heat.
Pour warm dressing over prepared spinach and toss gently to wilt (when properly wilted, the leaf edges soften slightly, but the spinach retains some crunch). To avoid overly wilted spinach, we used a mere 1/4 cup of dressing for 6 cups of greens in our spinach salad recipe.
Sprinkle the crumbled bacon and blue cheese over the top of the spinach and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Additional Spinach Salad Recipes:
Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges
Spinach Salad with Strawberries
Spinach Salad with Pickled Eggs and Blue Cheese
Favorite Spinach Salad
Source: I slightly adapted this wilted spinach salad recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, March and April, 2002.