With apologies to Justin Timberlake: I’m bringing Spinach back.
Caesar salad is available everywhere – even at drive-thru windows. Many restaurant menus now feature some version of a field greens salad with dried fruit, nuts and blue cheese. Beet and goat cheese salads are trendy. Summer brings us tomatoes and basil to layer with mozzarella for Caprese salad. Most pizza places offer Greek salad alongside the ubiquitous Caesar and garden salads. Where’s the spinach? I’m starting a movement to bring back the classic spinach salad. Until restaurants catch on, we’re going to have to make it at home.
Spinach is full of vitamins and fiber, and topped with bacon and egg it is a rich, tasty treat. As with any recipe, especially one with few elements, the very best ingredients make a big difference. The inspiration for this recipe was spinach, eggs and bacon I got at the farmers’ market.
1 bunch of spinach (about 6 ounces) washed and dried well, stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces.
2 hard boiled eggs (place eggs in pan with enough water to cover, bring water to a boil, turn off heat and let eggs stand 15 minutes.)
4 slices thick-cut bacon cooked and crumbled
2 large white button mushrooms, thinly sliced (about into 10-12 slices per mushroom)
¼ of a red or sweet onion sliced very thinly
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon Agave nectar or honey
3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
While eggs are boiling, whisk dressing ingredients together in salad bowl. Add onion slices. Wash, stem, dry and tear spinach, then add to salad bowl. Top with mushroom slices. Run cold water over eggs until cool enough to handle, peel and slice into wedges. Top salad with eggs and crumbled bacon, toss just before serving. Serves 4 -6.
Note: Homemade dressing is not only healthier than store-bought; it is cheaper and tastes better. Experiment with the ratio of acid to oil to find your personal preference. I like mine fairly tart, especially when poured over rich foods like eggs and bacon, so my dressing is about 2:1 oil to vinegar. Julia Child famously preferred her vinaigrette to be five parts oil to one part vinegar.