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Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Remember back in the 80s, this salad was on all of the trendy restaurant menus, and the really fancy places were making a really garlicky salad called a Caesar?

Oh how time has buzzed on by.

After forgetting about this salad for years, sort of the way that you push an old boyfriend out of your mind for ages, and then suddenly, start thinking about him again, I began craving this salad. Would I make it today? No, I don’t have bacon. Tomorrow? I must remember to buy red onions. On and on it went like this for a week or two, until I decided that it was time.

To revisit my past. At least my leafy green one.

I found Marion Cunningham’s recipe from “The Fannie Farmer Cookbook” in Saveur, tinkered with it, and changed a few things. Honey instead of sugar, for instance. Grapeseed oil instead of vegetable oil. I added sherry vinegar, cut back on the bacon and used thinly sliced red onions instead of shallots, because I found that the taste was milder.

Was it as good as I remembered?

Even better.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Makes 2 large or 4 small salads

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
sea salt
6 strips bacon
2 eggs
¼ pound (5 oz or 130 grams) baby spinach
10 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
⅔ cup (5.3 oz or 15.7 cl) grapeseed oil

1. In a jam jar, combine garlic, honey, mustard, lemon juice, sherry vinegar and salt and pepper. Let sit while you make the rest of the salad.

2. Cook the bacon, leaving 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the skillet. Put bacon on paper towels to drain.

3. Boil the eggs. Put two eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. When the water boils, turn it down to a simmer and set the timer for 10 minutes. Put the saucepan in the sink, run cold water over it, and take out the eggs. Peel and roughly chop.

4. Put spinach, crumbled bacon, chopped eggs, mushrooms, and red onions in a large bowl and set aside.

4. Make the dressing. Add the 2/3 cup grapeseed oil to the jam jar and shake. Turn heat to medium-low and reheat the bacon grease. When warm, pour the jam jar dressing into the skillet, stir, and when hot, pour over the salad and toss.