~ Mel's Classic Bacon & Egg Spinach Salad ~
Mel's classic spinach salad: baby spinach leaves, diced red onion, sliced button mushroom caps, crisply fried & coarsely chopped bacon, hard-cooked egg wedges and fresh garden tomato chunks! Served with my recipe for ~ My Homemade French Salad Dressing ~, recipe found in Categories 2, 8 & 17: I have to tell you, this is one of my all-time favorite salads. The exact amount of ingredients you'll need is "more or less" up to you, but to make a salad the size of the one pictured above, which will serve 8, you'll need:
2 cups diced red onion
1 pound white button mushrooms, stems removed, caps wiped clean and thinly sliced
1 pound thick-sliced bacon, crisply fried and coarsely chopped
1 dozen extra large eggs, hard-cooked, each egg cut into 6 wedges, each wedge cut in half
4 cups chunked garden tomatoes
freshly ground peppercorn blend, for topping finished salad
~ Prepping the spinach. I like to use a pair of kitchen shears to quickly snip the stringy stems from the baby spinach leaves. While the stems are certainly edible, I personally prefer just the soft, tender leaves when eating my salad.
~ Prepping the mushrooms. For this salad, I like to purchase small, 1"-1 1/2" round musrooms. Using your fingertips, pull/pop the stems out of the caps. Wipe the caps clean in a dry or barely moist paper towel. Do NOT rinse caps in water or they will get spongy. Thinly slice the caps.
~ Prepping the bacon. You can pan-fry your bacon if you want, but, my method and recipe for ~ Crispy Oven-Roasted Bacon ~, found in Categories 9, 15 & 20 is guaranteed to make you very, very happy, as it: produces perfectly cooked bacon strips without any spattering or mess!!!
~ Prepping the eggs. If you have followed my recipe for ~ A Little Thing Called: Boiling Eggs ~, found in Category 15, you have perfectly cooked eggs with none of those unappetizing greenish-gray halos around the yolks. Cut each peeled egg into 6 wedges and cut each wedge half. I have nifty kitchen gadet called an egg wedger which does this perfectly!
Now that all of our prep work is done, it's time to assemble and plate our salad. Yes, I said "plate" our salad. I almost NEVER use a bowl to serve a salad anymore and I almost NEVER toss a salad anymore either. On a very large plate or platter I make a bed of greens and layer my ingredients on top. Why? Simple: when it comes time to portion and serve, in each and every scoop, each and every person gets the same amount of great goodies! Have you ever been near the end of a buffet line only to find the salad bowl a mess with all the good stuff gone? Not on my watch! Ok, lets assemble and layer this fabulous salad:
~ Step 2. Distribute the onions evenly over the greens!
~ Step 3. Distribute the mushrooms evenly over the onions!
Top salad with a generous grind of peppercorn blend and serve drizzled with my recipe for: ~ My Homemade French Salad Dressing ~, found in Categories 8, 9 & 17!
Mel's Classic Bacon & Egg Spinach Salad: Recipe yields 8 generous servings.
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; paring knife; egg wedger (optional); paper towels
"If you feed them, they will come." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)