The move is done; my kitchen is about put together but the rest of the place is a disaster. Boxes both filled and empty everywhere the eye can see. I’m weary beyond belief but in a good way; hard physical activity weary is much preferable to stress weary, right? I had a great, simple dish I wanted to share today but instead I’m bringing this one out of the archives for two reasons….wait, three. First, I can not find the book on honey with the recipe for a simple green bean dish with a honey dressing. I’ve only got a bazillion boxes of cookbooks (along with an equal number of boxes of booze!) and they are scattered everywhere…so that one will have to wait a bit. Second because my salad craving culminated in having this for dinner last night I wanted to share it again because it is such a favorite and third? Zero degree temps and 5 inches of new snowfall and I want to be reminded of warmer months ahead and hopefully my re-creating a beautiful garden here too!
I just love this combination of ingredients; I could honestly eat this salad for days on end and be happy. Pine nuts too pricey (YES!!) then substitute with walnuts; toasted walnuts are a new-found favorite of mine and would be great too.
Spinach salad with pears and bacon was a no-brainer. Though not my home cured version of bacon (sob), I had some good bacon in the freezer and even if I prefer my Maple Bourbon Bacon on an ongoing basis, I wasn’t going to pitch a perfectly good pound of pork. Bacon means some bacon fat so I decided to try combining components of my favorites for spinach; elements of a honey mustard dressing with those of a warm bacon dressing and I thought it was sounding good. It was late, I hadn’t had lunch so sometimes you never know…sounds good could just mean I was REALLY hungry! I was certainly putting together a lot of familiar components and heading in a very familiar direction. Should I officially christen this an Italian Spinach Salad?
I did combine olive oil with the bacon fat too…while not on a list for the healthiest of salad dressings, I thought that at least helped. I’m also using pine nuts, my very last precious cache of them from happier times. When I could afford them. Before their price started to rival gold. I hear it’s due to a shortage though I see plenty of them; they are just double the price I used to pay (and they were already a bit pricier than other nuts). I’m not anxious to pop $20 for a bag of them at my local Costco so I’m playing a waiting game though I read the other day it might be a long wait. Like forever. If you don’t have pine nuts and don’t want to take out a 2nd mortgage on your home, then toast some pecans or walnuts; that’s what I’ll be doing in the future too!
This was a simple salad with the freshest of ingredients and I’m excited to be dining outdoors tonight where my garden is in the throes of gloriousness. So I thought I would share some of that with you today. Wish you could join me!
Spinach and pears are combined with fresh mozzarella and pine nuts for a new take on an old classic.
- 4 cups Spinach, washed and dried
- 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 8 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, diced
- 4 slices Bacon, diced
- 2 Pears, sliced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup bacon drippings
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Champagne Vinegar
- 3 Tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp stone ground mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put spinach leaves and red onion slices in a bowl.
- Mix vinegars, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper together. Add bacon drippings and oil and whisk until blended.
- Toss the ingredients in the bowl with some dressing to lightly cover. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate each serving and arrange pears on top.
- Add mozzarella, bacon and pine nuts to each serving.
- Drizzle with additional dressing.
This makes additional dressing than what will be required for 4 servings. Serve with any fresh salad.