One of the most satisfying and rewarding accomplishments that a cook and foodie can achieve, is when you can change someone’s mind about certain foods and have the pleasure of getting to see them enjoy it and expand their horizons. And that is exactly what happened when I made this Retro Spinach Salad & Hot Bacon Dressing!
Getting the hubs to eat vegetables, especially salads, has been a challenge for me since day one! We go through each stage of pouting and fussing, and even escalating into anger on occasion, and we both end up getting upset. Let’s just say…it’s been an uphill battle.
But he didn’t put up too much of a fight this time! Maybe it was because it was the holidays, or he was half delirious from the aromas of the prime rib roasting in the oven, or maybe it was because I’m in charge of doling out the Christmas cookies and candies. 😉
But whatever the reason, though he was still leery, when I told him it had lots of hard-boiled egg in it, he was game!
And ever since I started slowly introducing him to homemade salad dressings, it truly has opened up a whole new world for him!
Plus, I think his curiosity got the best of him with this one, over the fact that the dressing is cooked, and is served warm over the salad! Who doesn’t like warm bacon, right?!
This classic salad dressing is extremely easy to make, requiring very few ingredients that you already have on hand! Just be sure to use a mild vinegar such as an apple cider vinegar, or a white wine vinegar. Just don’t use regular distilled white vinegar for this, or it will probably turn out much too strong.
This dressing is nice and tart, wonderfully zesty, with just a touch of sweetness. Which makes it the perfect dressing to accompany stronger greens such as baby spinach and spicy arugula!
It has a really nice consistency, too, that’s not too thick, and not watery-thin, either. So it doesn’t run right off of your salad and pool onto your plate, and not cling to your forkful.
It just plain makes friends with everything, and gives all the ingredients a nice warm hug!
Speaking of ingredients, let’s get right to them!
Traditionally, this salad is made of just fresh baby spinach only. But I like a nice mix of field greens (*that includes the baby spinach leaves), and has a little pop of colorful leaves to add interest.
We eat with our eyes first, and fussy eaters like my “Mr. Picky Pants”, sometimes need a little extra convincing right off the bat, so that they don’t decide before they even taste something, whether they like it or not. 😉
So, a little extra pop of color never hurts!
To start assembling this salad, just place a nice pile of greens onto your salad plate, then start adding more of the classic ingredients which, up next, are fresh mushrooms and red onion.
Slice your mushrooms, or purchase them already sliced, and be sure to slice your red onions very thinly! Nobody likes to bite into a thick chunk of onion.
Now, because I wanted this salad to be bright and colorful, I added the heavenly delicious, warm salad dressing next….
…and then topped it with the last ingredient, the chopped hard-boiled egg! I wanted a massive pop of color to convince the hubs as soon as he saw it, that this was something that he was going to enjoy with his favorite salad ingredient right on top smiling at him!
It worked!! And it really ended up looking prettier this way!
But you can add the dressing last if you’d like, and just ladle it over everything.
*I made mine slightly differently, as I have a strange aversion to eggs! I can’t eat them cooked by themselves. At. ALL. I’m ok if they’re in something, but to eat them straight up…no matter how they’re cooked….they make me very ill for some bizarre reason.
So I left them off of mine, and added crumbled blue cheese the first day, and crumbled feta the next!
Both cheeses went extremely well with this salad, so there’s a handy option for you if you have trouble with eggs, too.
Or, you can just go for it, and add everything!
My hubby was VERY surprised over this salad, mostly surprised at how much he loved it, and raved and raved over it for days!! He even asked me to make him another one the next day! I know. SHOCKER.
So now that the holidays are over, wean yourself off of all that rich and super fattening stuff and enjoy a nice big salad for lunch! Or serve this alongside some slow-cooked pot roast or roast chicken or pork! Whatever makes you happy!
This almost-forgotten Retro Spinach Salad & Hot Bacon Dressing deserves a comeback! And believe me, you’ll be coming back for more! Enjoy!!
*This salad & dressing was also fabulous on this Prime Rib Sandwich, too!! Click on the pic to see the recipe!
- For Salad:
- 4 - 6 cups field greens with baby spinach leaves, as much as you like
- 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
- very thinly sliced red onion (about a half of an onion)
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped or cut into wedges
- For Warm Bacon Dressing:
- 4 strips bacon, diced
- 1 Tbl. reserved bacon grease
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 Tbl. spicy brown mustard
- ½ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. pepper
- 1½ Tbl. cornstarch
- 1½ Tbl. cold water
- Optional Garnish:
- 1 cup blue cheese, gorgonzola, or feta cheese crumbles
- Onto salad plates or bowls, pile salad ingredients. Pour Hot Bacon Dressing over the top. Garnish with crumbled cheese if desired.
- To Make Warm Bacon Salad Dressing:
- Cut bacon into pieces and fry until crisp in medium frying pan. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside, reserve 1 Tbl. drippings in pan. Add onion and sauté until tender, remove from heat. Add bacon and rest of ingredients except cornstarch and cold water. Mix well with whisk. In small glass, stir together cornstarch and cold water until thoroughly mixed, stir into pan. Place back over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches a full boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. (Makes about 2 cups.)
- Store leftover dressing in fridge, reheat before serving, (in saucepan or microwave).