This wilted spinach salad needs only a few ingredients. Bacon and red onions add crunch and flavor, and the simple bacon grease dressing is a snap to fix. The warm dressing wilts the spinach leaves slightly when drizzled over the salad.
Bits of finely chopped onion and the cooked bacon complete the salad, but if you want a more colorful salad, other ingredients may be added. Finely chopped apples, sliced fresh figs, sliced fresh strawberries, toasted chopped pecans or walnuts, or sliced radishes are just a few ideas. A garnish of chopped or sliced hard-boiled eggs is a popular addition as well. Or add shredded carrots to the salad. There are many ways you can tailor the salad and make it your own creation.
The sugar gives the salad dressing its tangy, sweet-sour flavor. Feel free to cut back on the sugar, if desired.
- 2 quarts young spinach leaves (about 8 ounces)
- 4 strips bacon
- 1/4 red onion (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Wash the spinach thoroughly under cold running water. Remove any large stems; spread the leaves out on paper towels to dry. Alternatively, dry the spinach with a salad spinner.
- Chop the onion finely—or slice it thinly—and set aside.
- Dice the bacon and transfer it to a skillet or medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and cook the bacon pieces, frequently stirring, until the bacon is crisp and browned. With a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Sprinkle the flour over the bacon drippings in the skillet; stir to blend well. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the sugar to the pan along with the vinegar and salt. Blend well and bring to a simmer. If the dressing mixture is too thick, add a bit of water to thin it. Taste the dressing and add pepper and more salt, if needed. Remove the dressing from the heat.
- Put the dried spinach in a large serving bowl, tearing large leaves into smaller pieces. Drizzle the warm dressing over the spinach; toss gently to coat the leaves.
- Add the finely chopped onion to the spinach and toss gently.
- Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the spinach salad and serve immediately.
- To dry spinach or salad greens quickly, place the leaves in a large colander. Rinse the greens with cold water and drain thoroughly, and then spread the leaves out on a large kitchen towel. Roll the towel up and pat it gently. Unroll the towel and transfer the spinach to the serving bowl.
- To take the salad along to a holiday dinner, potluck, or cookout, pack the dressing separately. Warm the dressing up and dress the salad just before serving.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||5 g|
|Saturated Fat||1 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||2 g|
|Dietary Fiber||3 g|