For me, the only kind of spinach salad is a wilted spinach salad. For proof, I give you this golden oldie, reinterpreted by Alton Brown. This sucker is flawless. The red wine vinegar balances the bacon fat, the creamy egg contrasts the crisp red onion. And best of all, the hot dressing wilts the spinach leaves. Though I found success a while back with this wilted spinach salad with feta, the original is probably better. Thank you, Alton Brown.
I left the instruction for hard boiling the eggs because everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter. Alton likes to cook his in an electric kettle. Simply Recipes uses the traditional stove top method. I've even weighed in on the issue, having had some remarkable luck cooking them for 4 hours in a crock pot. Obviously, this isn't practical, but hey, they were delicious. Anyway, whichever method you choose is fine—just remember to add the eggs to the salad. I devoured half of this salad before I remembered the egg, hence its absence from the picture.
- 1/2 pound baby spinach, washed, dried, and stems removed
- 2 hardboiled eggs
- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 4 white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Add the bacon to a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon pieces are crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel.
Pour the bacon grease into a large bowl. Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the spinach, bacon pieces, mushrooms, and red onion to another large bowl. Pour the bacon dressing on top and toss until well coated.
Remove the shells of the hard-boiled eggs, and thinly slice. Add to the salad and serve. Season with salt and pepper to taste.