Warm Spinach Salad With Bacon Dressing

Spinach and watercress salad
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Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

Calories 193
Fat 15g
Carbs 8g
Protein 8g
View All
Total Time 15 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 0 min
Servings 3

Although only a few ingredients, this simple spinach salad is sure to satisfy. The warm bacon-flavored dressing is a nice blend of sweet and sour, combining vinegar with a little bit of sugar. The dressing is made from the resulting bacon fat, which may sound like an indulgence but it's only a few tablespoons.

This version of the classic warm (or wilted) spinach salad can easily be made into a meal by adding chopped cooked chicken, turkey, or even fish or tofu. Chopped egg is also a classic option. If you want more vegetables, mushrooms and red pepper work especially well.

Ingredients

  • 1 package baby spinach (about 9 to 10 ounces) or that much fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 pieces thick-cut bacon, or 6 pieces thin-cut (about 150 grams)
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (or the same amount as the bacon fat)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, or equivalent sugar substitute

Preparation

  1. Put the spinach (and other vegetables if you like) in a large bowl. The spinach will shrink down some in the hot dressing, but you need room to work.
  2. Chop the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  3. If you like a lightly dressed salad, leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan. If you want more dressing, leave more fat and then balance it with more vinegar and a bit more sweetener later.
  1. Cook the onion in the fat for 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the garlic, cooking for 15 to 30 seconds or until it starts to become fragrant. Be careful not to brown the garlic or it will get bitter.
  2. Add the vinegar, and scrape up the brown bits in the pan. (The vinegar will seem potent, but it mellows quickly with the heat and sweetener.) Add the salt, pepper, and sweetener. Stir to dissolve, and pour the dressing over the spinach.
  3. Toss the spinach (tongs work well) until coated. Transfer to individual plates or bowls and top with the fried bacon. Add other toppings if desired.

Ingredient Notes and Additions

There really isn't much sweetener in this recipe, but if you decide you'd rather use a sugar substitute, just be sure to only use the equivalent amount. Stevia, for example, is much, much sweeter than sugar and therefore you only need a little bit. 1 cup of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of stevia, so for 2 teaspoons of sugar, you'd probably only need a tiny pinch of stevia.

To turn this salad into a more substantial meal, you can add several other vegetables as well as a protein. Sliced mushrooms—such as crimini or shiitake—along with roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, and grilled chicken would make a delicious main dish worthy of serving to any guest.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3
Amount per serving  
Calories 193
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 358mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g  
Includes 3g Added Sugars 6%
Protein 8g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 639mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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