I have fond memories as a child of my parents entertaining and everyone raving about my dad’s Wilted Spinach Salad. The way everyone spoke of it, it seemed like such a special dish to me at the time. Of course, just the word “spinach” made it sound “yucky” to me as a 5-year-old – needless to say I never did try it way back then.
The legendary dish seemed to have disappeared off my radar in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and beyond, and I hadn’t thought about it in years. Fast forward to present day, having blossomed into a true foodie, I asked my dad what was in his revered spinach salad. When he told me some of the featured ingredients, I realized why it disappeared into the food abyss – bacon, bacon fat, and hardboiled eggs, all foods deemed unhealthy during the great fat and cholesterol scare that started in the 1970s.
If you still balk at the thought of eggs and bacon hardening your arteries, let me put you at ease. Saturated fat and dietary cholesterol in the framework of a minimally processed “real food” diet pose little or no risk for heart disease (1). Even the US Government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently stated, “Cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern.” (2) So put your fears to rest and enjoy your eggs and bacon!
Since I love all things eggs, bacon, and vegetables, I thought I would bring this mouthwatering recipe to all of you! Imagine fresh sweet spinach leaves dressed in a warm vinaigrette made with bacon fat instead of olive oil and topped with crispy bacon and hardboiled egg crumbles. Are you drooling yet? I am!
Drumroll please… here’s my recipe for Dad’s Wilted Spinach Salad!
- 3 eggs, plus 1 egg
- 5 slices bacon
- 5-ounce package baby spinach, rinsed and dried
- ½ cup finely chopped green onion
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoons raw honey
- Hard boil eggs and cool completely. I use this recipe.
- Peel hardboiled eggs and finely chop into small crumbles.
- Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Reserve fat in pan and set aside.
- Chop cooked bacon into small crumbles.
- Mix spinach and green onions in a large salad bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, raw egg, and honey.
- Heat the pan with reserved bacon fat over medium heat.
- Slowly whisk in the vinegar, egg and honey mixture until the dressing thickens.
- Invert the pan, with the warmed and thickened dressing in it, upside down on top of the bowl containing the spinach and green onion. Let sit for 2 minutes, remove pan and scrape remaining dressing into salad bowl. Toss salad to distribute dressing evenly.
- Add bacon crumbles and hardboiled eggs and toss until well combined.
- Serve immediately
Voilá – Dad’s Wilted Spinach Salad – Bon Appétit!
Whip it up and let me know what you think!