Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cranberry Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

Last July, we moved to a quaint little small town in the southwest. It's the kind of town where neighbors congregate in driveways to chat about PTA meetings and the price of gasoline while the children eat Popsicles and race bicycles around the cul-de-sac. It's also the kind of neighborhood where if you have something extra, you pass it around. It could be extra tickets to the symphony, half open bags of fertilizer, gently used baby bibs, or it could be this....Spring Spinach.
So fresh, so green, so crisp that I couldn't even dream of cooking it. A simple salad was the only worthy choice. The hot-and-smoky, sweet-and-tart, bacon-and-onion dressing only slightly tames the greens, making it possible to eat vast quantities without feeling too much like Popeye the Sailor man before he socks it to Bluto. Although it helps to bring up the famous sea-faring spinach-lover if you're trying to convince a 5 year old boy about the virtues of iron and folate. It helps to remind grown-ups (38 year old husbands), too.
You're going to want seconds....
Cranberry Spinach Salad
Estimated Cost: $5.50
Notes: To make this salad more substantial, add a couple of hard-cooked eggs.
4-8 slices of bacon, chopped
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
4 tablespoons apple cider or red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Fresh spinach
sweetened dried cranberries
sliced fresh mushrooms
In a medium saucepan, cook bacon for five minutes over medium heat. Add onions and continue cooking till bacon is crisp. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook until thick and syrupy. Meanwhile, layer spinach, cranberries and mushrooms on 4 separate plates. Pour HOT dressing atop salad and serve immediately. Makes four servings.


Leah said...

Prudy, what cute Mother's Day pictures - a very photogenic bunch you have!

We live in a neighborhood like yours I guess; share and share alike...I love it.

Pretty salad too!

Anonymous said...

This salad looks delicious. We had your spice rubbed chicken last night, it was a hit! We can't wait for mini bbq chicken sandwiches!
You're like a kitchen superhero Prudy. You could tie your apron around your neck and fly from house to house saving dinner! SuperPrudy!

Mary Kate said...

You had me at bacon. Looks fabulous and I cant wait to try it. I've loved everything I've made of yours but I always do!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I've always seen this salad done with strawberries, and I never have strawberries on hand long enough to make a salad. I love the idea of using cranberrries (which I always have on hand).

Lisa said...

What a great looking salad and great Mother's day pictures! Isn't it nice to be in a neighborhood like that? Ours is like that too and I feel blessed.

RecipeGirl said...

This is my favorite kind of salad. Love the hot, sweet dressing! How lucky you are to be in such a neat neighborhood :)

Veronica said...

I love bacon in a salad, that salty crunchy thing can't be beat!

les said...

Hi Erin
I am having such a good time reading everyone's blog.
I love all the family pictures. I thought you looked beautiful....(did I tell Mary&Catte they look beautiful, too...if I didn't, I meant to.)
I have no time to write, time to pick up kids....but I laughed at your PERFECT nickname for Shane,
"The QUIET MAN".....it's even better than Marlboro man. You must always refer to him that way.

les said...

Oh, and i forgot....Mary's comment about your salad made me laugh out loud, too. "You had me at bacon."

maggienow317 said...

this is good