I bought a huge bunch of spinach at the beginning of the week. I had big plans for it. Big. Plans. But today I suddenly had a craving for warm spinach salad. With hard boiled eggs, bits of crunchy bacon, slightly wilted spinach, and a richly flavorful dressing. So I turned to good ol' Rachael and together we came up with a great version of warm spinach salad.
It's not a glamorous dish, by any means. It made me feel a bit like a 1970's mom, though I'm not sure why. But it was comforting, a little bit gluttonous, and filled with good-for-you veggies and protein all at the same time. It got the job done. So if you're ever looking for a great meal-sized salad that will satisfy your 1970's mom craving, this is it.
Most of your time will be spent on the prep work - the actual cooking and assembling of this meal is remarkably quick.
Warm Spinach Salad
adapted from Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals (2008)
1 1/2 tablespoons EVOO
2 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 pound spinach leaves, thoroughly washed and spun dry
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise
1. Heat EVOO in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add bacon and cook until crispy and browned, about 5 minutes. Spoon out the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel.
2. Add onion, garlic, and asparagus to the skillet and cook 3-5 minutes, until onions are starting to brown and asparagus is crisp-tender. Deglaze the pan with apple cider vinegar, scraping browned bits from the bottom. Turn off heat.
3. Put the spinach in a large salad bowl; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and toss to distribute. Pour the veggies and drippings from the skillet onto the spinach while it's still hot, and toss. The goal is to wilt the spinach a little bit, so try to get the hot stuff evenly distributed. Add bacon and toss. Serve topped with hard-boiled egg.
And of course, this can easily be made vegetarian by eliminating the bacon, but if you're not a bacon-hater, I wouldn't recommend leaving it out, as that's where most of the flavor comes from. Enjoy!