One of my all-time favorite salads is a simple spinach salad. While it is super delicious, it can become a little boring when enjoyed frequently. To spruce up this tasty recipe, I decided to serve this salad warm, tossed in a homemade bacon dressing made from leftover bacon drippings.
This might sound odd, but trust me, there is a huge amount of flavor in those drippings that makes an excellent dressing when combined with a few simple ingredients.
To finish off this salad, I added toasted pecans, diced mangoes and strawberries and a hearty sprinkle of tangy feta cheese along with fresh herbs.
Warm spinach salad with homemade bacon dressing recipe
Fresh, organic baby spinach is tossed in a homemade bacon dressing, topped with fresh fruit, feta and pecans and served warm.
Yields 2 large or 4 small salads
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 8 minutes | Total time: 18 minutes
For the salad
- 4 slices all-natural, nitrate-free bacon (I used Applegate Farms brand)
- 6 cups fresh, organic baby spinach
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1/2 small red onion, minced or sliced thin
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
- 1/4 cup croutons (optional)
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
For the bacon dressing
- Drippings from the cooked bacon
- 2 tablespoons balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Warm a skillet over medium heat, and add the bacon. Cook for 4 minutes per side or until crisp.
- Place the cooked bacon on a dish lined with paper towels, and let it cool. Pour the drippings into a clean jar with a lid, and set it aside.
- To a large salad bowl, add the spinach, strawberries, mango, red onion and toasted pecans.
- Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble it over top of the salad, and top with the croutons and crumbled feta.
- Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the jar of bacon drippings, and tightly close the lid on the jar. Shake the dressing for 30 seconds to mix it well.
- Remove the lid from the jar, and lightly warm the dressing in the microwave for 20 to 25 seconds. Drizzle the warm dressing on top of the salad, and toss.
- Divide the salad among plates, and serve immediately.
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