Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

This warm vinaigrette, which is a pan-dressing I made using vinegar for acid, honey for sweetness and shallots for bite, all to complement the smoky, salty flavor of bacon, wilts the baby spinach greens and coats everything in lovely, glistening fat. But the best part, in my opinion, is the apple. One large Honeycrisp from the large wooden bowl of apples Violet and I picked at Schoolhouse Farm, a stand on Route 1 in Warren that makes some of the best apple cider doughnuts I’ve ever had.

We went early on a Friday morning and there was no one else in the winding orchard. We walked through corn fields, past rusty old trucks, wooden ladders propped against pear trees, and a pumpkin patch. There were no pony rides or apple cider presses or hay bale mazes, just us, the birds, and the bluest sky. Schoolhouse Farm has a farm stand on Route 1 in Warren; they sell some of the best apple cider doughnuts I’ve ever had.

Spinach Salad with Bacon Fat Vinaigrette

5 from 1 reviews
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 6 pieces thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon shallot
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ½ cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, diced
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and sliced (optional)
Method
  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp and brown; use a slotted spoon to remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Whisk in shallot, honey, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to the rendered bacon fat. Pour the warm dressing over spinach greens, cheese, apple and chicken and toss. Serve with crusty, buttered bread and lots of crisp white wine.
Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road. She creates content on the internet, on subjects ranging from summer camps to semi-precious stones to the folklore of food. With Malcolm, Jillian was one of the original “Insiders,” for the Visit Maine tourism campaign. She loves telling the stories of her adopted state, finding out-of-the-way places, and people making interesting things. Watching her daughters play in the wild woods and fields of Cushing makes her very happy.

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