Chock full of bacon and blue cheese, this spinach salad is the kind of salad that makes even non-salad fans very very happy. It’s hearty enough to be a main dish all on its own. And you can also think about adding some sliced grilled chicken to make it even more robust. It’s also perfect for pairing with anything from a steak to some roasted vegetables.
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.
Using Baby Spinach in Salads
When it comes to raw spinach in salads, I always go with baby spinach. Baby spinach 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.
Dijon Vinaigrette 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 mustard. Also you can add a bit of the fat from cooking the bacon because we are all good with that. If you add the bacon fat to the dressing while it is still warm, and then toss it with the salad, it will wilt the salad as you toss it ever so slightly, in a very pleasing way.
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. This is very happy making to 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. You can also just cook regular 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.
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.Tweet This
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 if you want everyone to admire all of that cheesy bacon-ey loveliness on top of the salad before it all gets blended together.
Serve Spinach, Bacon and Blue Cheese Salad before or with:
- Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Steaks
- Grilled Marinated NY Strip Steak
- Baked Salmon
- Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms
- Pan Fried Pork Chops
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Fully Loaded Spinach Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese
- 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
- 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 is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.