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Warm Spinach Salad

I eat my fair share of very healthy salads, mostly at lunch, but occasionally I want something a bit more self-indulgent (AKA bacon.) I love this delicious spinach salad with its contrast of textures and temperatures and highly recommend it for a weekend lunch.

Please feel free to adjust size as I made myself a rather hearty portion - raking autumn leaves is harder work than it looks! Also, I like a really tangy vinaigrette so you may wish to tone down the vinegar a bit if you are not in possession of a Baltic palate! Last but not least, I left the bacon strips whole for visual impact, but suggest using lardons or breaking the bacon into bite-sized pieces in real life (and maybe using less of it...)

a large handful of baby spinach leaves, washed and dried

1 Tbsp chopped red onion

2 organic eggs

4 pieces of bacon, roughly halved lengthwise

1/2 avocado, cut into chunks (my avocado proved a disappointment when I cut into it so I added pickled artichoke hearts instead -- a good idea, which I will use in the future as well as my usual ripe avocado segment.)

2 tsps Dijon mustard

1 tsps honey

2 tsps red wine vinegar

2 tsps olive oil

Put the eggs in a pan with enough water to just cover them. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, set your timer to eight minutes and start assembling the rest of the salad.

Lay your bacon strips on a paper towel lined microwave safe plate. Cover with a layer of paper towels and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Check and microwave again, until the bacon is crispy. All microwaves vary so microwave in thirty second increments. I needed another minute and a half for crispy bacon. Of course, if you don't use a microwave, you can just cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. I like the microwave because all of the grease gets absorbed into the paper towels, which makes clean up much easier.

Place the spinach, onion, and avocado/artichoke in a bowl and toss to combine.

Place the mustard, honey, vinegar and oil in a pan and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring to combine into a homogenous dressing. I suggest adding them all to the pan cold, and heating them together. If you heat the ingredients separately, adding them one after the other, there will ne much painful spitting of oil.

By now the eggs should be done so rinse them under cold water until you can bear to handle them and peel them. Quarter them and add them to the salad.

Pour half of the warm dressing over the salad and toss well. Portion on to a plate and drizzle with a little more of the dressing before topping with the bacon and inhaling.


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