Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tender Baby Spinach Salad

With Smoked Bacon and Red Wine Vinaigrette
From Princess Cruiseline
Serves 6

1 ½ pounds baby spinach leaves
2 eggs
8 slices smoked bacon
1 ½ cups fresh button mushrooms, washed and sliced
¼ red onion, diced
Crumbled blue cheese, if desired.

¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup bacon fat
Juice from 1 lemon
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper

Trim and wash spinach leaves; drain between damp paper towels.Bring the eggs to a boil in cold, salted water. Once boiling, cook for 8 minutes. Run the cooked eggs under cool water. Peel the eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. Chop separately.Cook the bacon until crisp. Reserve the bacon fat. Chop the bacon. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until fairly smooth. A temporary emulsion should form. Adjust the seasoning and hold at room temperature. Stir the dressing well again before serving, and adjust the seasoning once more. (The dressing should be made at least 30 minutes before use to allow the flavors to combine.) To serve, toss the spinach leaves in a very light coating of the dressing and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the leaves on plates and garnish with the egg, bacon, mushrooms, and onion. Add crumbled blue cheese if desired.

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