Fully Loaded Spinach Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese

My family to a one of us is a Cobb Salad nut.  There are ample reasons why, such as (in no particular order) blue cheese, bacon, chicken, hard cooked eggs, often a creamy dressing….and so on.  All of us Cobb Salad fans know that calling a Cobb Salad a salad is a little like calling a bacon cheeseburger a sandwich – yes, there is lettuce, but c’mon people, we know why it’s so good.

So, fine, you caught us.  And this spinach salad is also a little more than a handful of lightly dressed greens, I will be the first to admit.  But if getting a spinach salad embraced by your people takes a little creativity (cheese) and finessing (bacon), then this is your salad.  It’s definitely my salad.

Baby Spinach

Fully Loaded Spinach Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese

When it comes to raw spinach in salads, I always go with baby spinach, which is much more tender and easy to spear up in forkfuls than mature spinach..  It’s. available in those plastic clamshells, and often in bulk in well-stocked produce sections of nice supermarkets.

The Dressing

I love this dressing – it’s a pretty classic vinaigrette but with a touch of sweetness from a bloop of honey and tanginess from a bloop of Dijon, and a bit of the fat from cooking the bacon because we are all good with that. If you can add the bacon fat to the dressing while it is still warm it will wilt the salad as you toss it ever so slightly, in a very pleasing way.

Fully Loaded Spinach Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese

Spinach Salad Toppings

There are so many fantastic blue cheeses out there – I feel like blue cheese is having a nice little moment these days, and that is very happy making to all of us blue cheese fans.  Go poking around your cheese shop and counter and talk to the cheese monger – you may be surprised to see how many choices there are out there,.

Bacon lardons are nothing more than sauteed up little chunks of bacon, preferably thick cut, but you can also just cook strips of bacon and crumble them up.  If you have leftover bacon for any reason (I have a hard time imagining such a reason), then this is the most beautiful way to put it to good use.

Fully Loaded Spinach Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese

A classic salad, and absolutely irresistible with nuggets of bacon and blue cheese, and bits of slivered onion, tucked into the pile of baby spinach.

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If you wanted to add some sliced or chopped hard cooked eggs to this salad it would make it even more substantial.  I didn’t in these photos because I was lazy, but next time I won’t be.  Toss this at the table of you want everyone to admire all of that cheesy bacon-ey loveliness on top of the salad before it all gets blended together.

Fully Loaded Spinach Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese

Serve Spinach, Bacon and Blue Cheese Salad before or with:

Spinach, Bacon and Blue Cheese Salad

A classic salad, and absolutely irresistible with nuggets of bacon and blue cheese, and bits of slivered onion, tucked into the pile of baby spinach.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoons warmed bacon fat reserved from cooking the bacon, optional
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • ½ cup halved and thinly sliced red onion
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup bacon lardons or crumbled cooked bacon

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk in the bacon fat, if using.
  • Add the spinach and red onion, and toss to coat with the dressing. Distribute over the blue cheese and bacon and gently toss again, or serve as is and toss at the table.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 388.75kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.82g | Protein: 20.3g | Fat: 31.58g | Saturated Fat: 12.62g | Cholesterol: 64.96mg | Sodium: 1340.3mg | Potassium: 436.57mg | Fiber: 1.79g | Sugar: 4.15g | Vitamin A: 5842.51IU | Vitamin C: 18.34mg | Calcium: 213.69mg | Iron: 1.9mg

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