Friday, January 25, 2013

Classic Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

The fresh spinach we've been getting lately has been beautiful; and it's good for you, too.  Spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is delicious raw or cooked.

Today's recipe is a classic spinach salad with crumbled bacon and hard-cooked eggs.  No worries if you don't eat bacon, just use your favorite bacon substitute, or leave it out altogether.  Toasted walnut or pecans are tasty alternatives to bacon.  Sun-dried tomatoes would be another way to go.

But bacon is the traditional choice for this salad, so if you're going that route, get high quality, thick-cut bacon, cook it crisp, and crumble it or chop it coarsely.

This recipe is easily doubled.  For two servings use:

1 bunch fresh spinach
4 strips thick-cut bacon
2 eggs
2 T thinly sliced red onion
salt and pepper

For the raspberry vinaigrette:
2 T olive oil
2 T raspberry vinegar
1/4 t honey or agave syrup

1.  Triple wash the spinach, making sure you remove all the dirt.  Spin dry.  Remove and compost the stems.  Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces in a large bowl.  Set aside.

2.  Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp.  Drain.  Then crumble or chop coarsely.  Set aside.

3.  Hard-boil 2 eggs.  To hard-boil eggs, place them in a pan with cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Turn off the heat.  Cover the pan.  Wait 10 minutes.  Drain.  Cool in a cold water bath.  Then peel the eggs and chop or mash them with a fork.  Set aside.

4.  Make the vinaigrette:  In a small bowl, briskly stir or whisk together the olive oil and raspberry vinegar until combined.  Stir in the honey or agave syrup.

5.  Pour the vinaigrette over the washed and dried spinach.  Add the red onion.  Toss to distribute evenly.  Season the spinach with salt and pepper to taste.  Go easy on the salt, as bacon is salty.

6.  Add the crumbled bacon and eggs.  Toss again.  Serve.

You can cook the bacon and eggs ahead of time.

Fruit is a nice addition to this salad.  Dried cherries, pomegranate seeds, or chopped tart apple are delicious, as are fresh raspberries, in season.

Today's bounty included:

From County Line Harvest South:  Baby white Tokyo turnips, red beets, arugula, rainbow chard, and rainbow baby carrots;

From Jimenez Family Farm:  Russet potatoes, cabbage, winter squash, cilantro, broccoli, spinach, yellow onions;

From K and K Ranch:  Pink Lady apples and navel oranges.



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