Tuesday, March 27, 2012
SPINACH SALAD WITH MUSHROOMS, BACON, AND POACHED EGG
Yes, another salad with an egg on it. Yes, another warm bacon vinaigrette. I am nothing if not predictable. Don’t dismiss this as a repeat, though, because it’s not, and it’s incredibly delicious to boot.
I’m not sure what exactly inspired me to go Googling spinach-mushroom-bacon-egg salads, except for the irrefutable logic that if spinach + mushroom = good, and spinach + bacon = good, and bacon + egg = good, then spinach + mushroom + bacon + egg = quadruply good. I stumbled across rough versions of what I was hankering for at Beyond the Peel and The Pioneer Woman Cooks. The first recipe seemed like it might be a little too simple (no real dressing, just vinegar); the second one had some mouthwatering additions (onion, Dijon) but was fussier. I thought I’d try the second one, except with poached eggs instead of hard-boiled (and no sugar—I hate it in dressings), but in the end I basically followed the first one, adding onion and mustard. It was Saturday night and I was feeling too lazy to make a separate dressing, so I just stirred the vinegar and Dijon in with everything else that had been sautéing in the bacon drippings, and what do you know? It was just fine. Better than fine, really. I loved it, and A mentioned to me several times how good it was. Without the egg, it would probably make a nice side dish; with one egg, it could grace your brunch table; with two eggs, it’s a light but gratifying spring evening meal.
4 strips bacon, diced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 ounces baby spinach
1–2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Asiago, Parmesan, or Pecorino Romano cheese to taste, shaved or shredded (optional)
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a paper towel to drain.
2. To the bacon fat in the skillet, add the onions and mushrooms. Saute for about 10 minutes, or until onions are tender and mushrooms are golden.
3. Add vinegar and mustard to the mushroom-onion mixture and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the bacon.
4. Meanwhile, poach eggs. (I use this method.)
5. Place 1½ cups of spinach on each plate. Top with the mushroom-onion-bacon mixture and then with the poached eggs. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cheese if desired.
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Unknown. You could probably store the mushroom-onion-bacon mixture separately in the fridge, reheat it, and then put it on some spinach when you’re ready to eat it, but you’d have to wait to poach your eggs until then.