This is the spinach salad for our Valentine dinner cook-along. I love a good salad and this one definitely hits the spot. You want to make sure you use really good ingredients. Make sure your blue cheese is a good brand with nice veining throughout the wedge. You won't need much because it's such a pungent cheese, so don't buy more than you think you'll use. If you aren't a fan of blue cheese, you can sub with parmesan. My daughter had cheddar on her salad.
I made this with a warm bacon shallot vinaigrette. The sweet and sour dressing was a perfect compliment to the creamy cheese and nutty flavor of the walnuts.
Slice two shallots.
Chop up two strips of bacon. I used thick sliced bacon.
Put the bacon in a skillet. Fry over medium high heat.
When the bacon is halfway done, add the shallots and let saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. If you find there isn't a lot of "dressing", add a little olive oil.
Season with 1/2 tsp sugar, salt, and pepper. If it's too sour, add more sugar. If it's too sweet, add more vinegar.
That is all this is needed for the dressing. I transferred to a bowl and kept in a low temp oven.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Slice some of the blue cheese and break into pieces.
I used one of those pre-packages of spinach that you can find in your produce section. I like these because the spinach is already washed.
Make the viniagrette a day in advance. It will save you a lot of time. Reheat in the microwave just before serving. You can also toast the chopped walnuts the night before too. Trust me. Do as much as possible before hand so you aren't killing yourself in the kitchen.
To plate: Tear some of the spinach on top of a plate. Sprinkle around some blue cheese and walnuts. Spoon the bacon-shallot vinaigrette over the top. Serve immediately.