I get a box of organic produce delivered to my doorstep once every two weeks from Door to Door Organics. Not quite a CSA but close and I really enjoy making dishes with what arrives in that box. This week it included spinach and pears and I love spinach with fruit and cheese components so it was time to raid the pantry and see what else I could conjure up for a dinner salad.
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.