A Spoonful of Sugar

Making every day life as a mom just a little bit sweeter.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette April 6, 2010

Filed under: Crazy Good Food — Janine Chance @ 6:52 am

I make different variations of this salad, so there are a lot of parentheses in this recipe! It’s so versatile!

This recipe was linked to Real Food Wednesday at kellythekitchenkop.com!

Spinach Salad

1 bag baby spinach  (if it’s not on sale, I just get a bunch of spinach in bulk to keep my costs down)

1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved

1 can (15 oz.) mandarin oranges (reserve liquid) (alternative: 2 large naval oranges, one juiced, and the other cut into segments for salad. Another option is to juice one orange and use 1/2 c. dried cranberries instead of the orange segments.)

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

1/2 red onion, diced (not shown above)

6 oz. sliced mushrooms (any kind you like. I love baby bellas, but white button mushrooms are fine, too)

1 lb. bacon (I use turkey bacon, but either one will do.)

3/4 c. cheese (This is where you can have fun. I like to use either goat cheese, or parrana cheese that I get from the Farmer’s Market. You could also use a good blue cheese, feta, or anything else that floats your boat!) (Not shown above)

Dice bacon into small pieces and cook in a large skillet until extra crispy, removing with a slotted spoon onto paper towels to drain.

(NOTE: If you used turkey bacon, there won’t be much grease, if any at all, so you’ll have to add a little olive oil to the pan to saute´ the shallot and garlic for the vinaigrette. If you used regular bacon, you’ll have to drain about half, or more out of the pan.)

For the salad, I put the spinach, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms in a salad bowl, and set the rest of the ingredients up salad bar style, so people can make up the rest of their salad to their liking.


1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 TBSP. brown sugar

6 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar (it’s a milder version of reg. balsamic…very nice.)

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

6 Tbsp. reserved liquid from mandarin oranges, or fresh squeezed orange juice

salt and pepper to taste

In the same pan you made the bacon, saute´ shallots and garlic on med-low heat until translucent, but not brown. Add orange juice and brown sugar and let reduce about 3-4 min. Put balsamic vinegar into a blender, (I use my Magic Bullet, love it!) and pour the warm shallot mixture over it. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and blend until smooth. Serve warm.

This salad is so good, I made it three times last week! I even sent friends home with the leftover vinaigrette!


9 Responses to “Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette”

  1. Angie Says:

    That looks so yummy!

  2. Kelly Says:

    Wow – that sounds yummy. I love anything with bacon and shallots!

  3. Tasha Says:

    Love spinach salads, thanks for sharing!

  4. Melinda Says:

    Can’t wait to taste the first spinach coming up in the garden! This recipe looks yummy!

  5. Tricia Says:

    This looks like a great recipe, I really like the vinaigrette.

  6. Christy Says:

    I love spinach salad, I usually just dump everything in it, I like that you set it up salad bar style. And your dressing sounds delicious. A definite must try!

  7. Tiffanee Says:

    Yum! I have been craving this ever since I saw it. I really need to go to the grocery store and get the ingredients!! It sounds so DELICIOUS! Thanks for all your help with the stools. I am just not good at decorating. It is so nice to have a good honest opinion.

  8. Susan Corvacchioli Says:

    We’re trying this tonight. Can’t wait!

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