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
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.