The Salad Wars rage on here at headquarters and I’ve struck a blow for the side of leafy greens by wielding one of my favorite weapons:Â bacon. As Buffi says: “Jenny, bacon is ALWAYS the answer.” One of the things The Boy has complained about with regards to salad is he doesn’t like the crunchy pieces. I don’t even get that, considering he’ll eat croutons until his palate is shredded. Being that this is the case (for now, bwahahaha) I figured a nice, tender, baby spinach would be a good starting point.
And then I remembered this salad that my mom and her girlfriends used to have when they’d gather to catch up on life while the kids ran around half-naked in the backyard. Granted the ladies never served theirs with boxed stuffing mix, but they also weren’t trying to appease The Boy.
I don’t know if this is the classic spinach salad or not, but it is always delicious and filling. I have seen a lot of recipes that include button mushrooms, but I’m not a fan. What I am a fan of is garnishing with mandarin orange segments. Mmmm. Here’s what we started with:
- 1 bag of washed baby spinach
- a few thin slices of red onion
- 8 strips of thick-sliced bacon, cooked until crispy and then chopped
- 3 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped (slice ‘em if you are fancy.)
- 1 can of mandarin oranges, well drained (would be nice to use clementine segments instead of these packed-in-syrup things.)
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons of bacon grease (aw yeah)
- 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1/4 tsp of mustard
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
Okay, so, first things first – slice the onion.Â Wash the spinach.Â Take a cheeseball photo of your kid holding the spinach.Â Perfect.
Okay, great. So, nowÂ dump your spinach and your onions in a big serving bowl and give them a light toss.Â Next up is cooking the bacon and eggs.Â First, with the bacon, you’ll want to cook the whole package, reserving the 8 slices you’ll need for the salad.Â The rest of the slices you can use to bribe your family to set the table, and stay out of the pantry while you get the rest of the meal put together.Â I was temped to chuck a strip down the hall just to keep the Sous-Chef out of the snack shelf.Â Hooo boy.
Okay, so pretend I took photos of the bacon cooking, and the me chopping it up and all that.Â I was so distracted with the bacon-strip chucking that I forgot to grab the camera.
Aren’t these eggs pretty?Â Anyway, I put them in a pot with just enough water to cover, and brought it to a full rolling boil.Â Then I turned off the heat, slapped a lid on the pan and let them rest for 15 minutes.Â Except I didn’t let it get to a full rolling boil, resulting in eggs that were sort of medium boiled, as opposed to fully hard boiled.Â I’m not crying any tears over here, though.Â They were still great.
So anyway, while the eggs were hanging out in the spa, The Boy got to work on the dressing.Â We mixed together the vinegar, sugar and mustard, and then added the still-hot bacon grease and whisked it all together.
Finito!Â Isn’t this just yummy looking?
Not everyone in the family appreciates the mandarin oranges, so I served those separately.Â But will you look at this?
That is a rare Thumb’s Up from The Boy – after one bite!Â As you can see from the photo up at the top, he cleaned his plate without any browbeating at all.Â I am a wee bit in shock, as I was with the whole steamed artichoke thing, but what can I say, I’m not going to argue with the results.
Bacon FTW!Â (Next time, we’ll do a spinach-based salad without all the heavy meat and eggs and see how it goes.)