Sunday, January 9, 2011

Warm Spinach Arugula Salad with Bacon, Eggs and Pecans



On a rare trip out to dinner the other night I made the grueling decision to order the Spinach Arugula Salad. The adjectives on the menu used to describe the salad..."fresh, delicate, earthy"... initially lured me in while the... "Warm Bacon-Shallot Vinaigrette"... completely sealed the deal!

So you can imagine my disappointment when ten minutes later there I sat...in front of a huge bowl of monster spinach leaves with rubbery canned mushrooms, flavorless onions and a barely visible dressing! After much maneuvering of ingredients in search of anything exciting (...a hard boiled egg, parmesan cheese, a toasted pecan perhaps???) all I came across were traces of ...(gulp)...store bought bacon bits!

Dejected...I ended up eating the kid's food while in my head constructing, "the perfect spinach salad."  A few days later I made this...
Warm Spinach and Arugula Salad, adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices thick-cut bacon
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 pinch of sugar
2 pounds triple washed spinach, stems removed (I used a combination of baby spinach and arugula)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise (I crumbled my hard boiled eggs)
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping
I added a handful of fresh pecans and fresh crumbled mushrooms


Directions:
Cook bacon over a medium-high skillet and brown until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan and pour off most of the bacon grease. Add olive oil, shallots and garlic to the same pan. Cook 3 to 4 minutes then deglaze the pan with vinegar and pinch of sugar. Turn spinach into pan and wilt down a bit but do not fully cook the spinach, just give it a few turns with tongs. Season the greens with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place spinach on a serving dish and top with eggs, shavings of cheese and reserved bacon, toss and plate. I threw in some fresh pecans and mushrooms too!

24 comments:

Gabrielle (the sister) said...

I love how you can take a bad situation and make it better! Can't wait to try this.

Chow and Chatter said...

great salad the sad thing is I get disappointed in restaurants all the time so sad

Nuts about food said...

Ok, it is early morning here and I am already drooling at the words warm bacon shallot vinaigrette...and I haven't had coffee yet!

Katerina said...

How disappointing to have an uworthy meal. It happened to me quite few times. But this gave you the initiative to make this beautiful salad and the dressing sounds like a big hit.

Marc van der Wouw said...

Nice salad....getting hungry again...

Pegasuslegend said...

What a healthy beautiful salads, motivates me to get on a diet now!

Clint said...

Now, that's a salad that even a guy will like. Sorry, however, to hear you ate your kid's food at the restaurant. Ha.

Cindy Ellison said...

Your own salad looks so delicious and I am sure it was delicious! Isn't it a shame what is described on the menu is not what we get!

"Rubbery mushrooms" was a perfect way to describe the canned ones.

This experience will make you not want to go back to this restaurant. Do the owners never think of this or do they even care?

Joanne said...

I hate it when salads show up and they're less than par even when their description makes them seem so delicious! I think you've done a stand-up job of turning a lackluster salad into a masterpiece!

Jenn said...

Sorry to hear of your disappointment in the salad...but you showed them... the one you made looks amazing!!!

Rich said...

Well, I'll say this looks better than what you'd end up getting at just about any restaurant, anyway! Although I'm sorry to hear about the unfortunate salad experience ... bacon bits? Yes, unfortunate indeed.

The Food Hound said...

LOVE warm spinach salad!!! And of course, anything with bacon :)

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Nothing beats homemade salad like yours! Fresh, crisp and delicious!!! Thanks for making this, I am thinking of posting one too. Cheers!

Becky said...

We are always looking for more spinach recipes!

Kimberly Peterson said...

It really does look like the perfect salad!! Thank you for sharing the recipe, I have all the ingredients at home so am making this for lunch one of these days!! Always on the lookout for more salad recipes this summer!

Kimberly Peterson said...

PS learnt something new again today, we call "arugula" "rocket salad" here in Australia, hehe.

Brownieville Girl said...

So disappointing when that happens in a restaurant.

Your salad looks delicious - you should send a photo the the restaurant with instructions on how to do it properly!!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

False advertising in restaurants is just plain wrong. How dare they get our tastebuds ready for something really good and then instead serve us slop? Wrong and unfair I say! Good for you for redoing the salad, the PROPER way, at home :) Looks really good, wish I had some, too!

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