Mon 14 May 2012
Now that the weather has sweetened and the grass has greened Trooper the Wonder Puppy and I have been spending a lot more time outside. It seems that we are of one mind about this May weather being much more clement than past months. It’s just so nice out! (When it isn’t raining…)
Trooper has developed a really adorable habit on our walks. Dandelions are his enemy. When he comes across them in his path he pounces on them and gets all snarly bounding and leaping from weed to weed, biting off the blooms, leaving the wreckage behind him.
What dandelions ever did to him, I don’t think I’ll ever know, but he sure is adorable in the process. Trooper the Wonder Puppy is a friend to gardeners and a scourge to the dandelion population.
Spinach and Bacon Salad with Pickled Red Onion and Feta
(adapted from Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen: 100 of My Favorite Recipes)
For the onions:
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
pinch of salt
1 large red onion
For the salad:
8 slices of bacon
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
12 ounces spinach
6 ounces feta cheese
- Pickle the onions first. This can be done a day ahead. In a small saucepan, boil together the sugar, apple cider vinegar, sriracha, salt and pepper.
- Cut the onion into very thin rounds (if you have a mandoline, this is the perfect time for it.
- Add the onion to the pickling liquid and continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
- Cook the bacon in a pan, reserving 1 Tbsp of the fat once finished.
- Dice the bacon.
- Whip up a vinaigrette using the reserved bacon fat, vinegar, olive oil and dijon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss the spinach with the vinaigrette, and then garnish it with the cooked bacon, crumbled feta cheese and some slivers of pickled red onion.
This recipe gives you way more of the pickled red onion than you need to use in the salad. It’s been really tasty to sneak into other salads, and sandwiches as well. The difference a quick pickle can make, yum! Just store what’s left of your pickled red onions in a jar in the fridge.
Normally, I’m a stickler for a salad having good toothsome crunch, and spinach isn’t really the green to use for that. Still, this salad brings together smoky, sour, sweet, salty, and briny flavors perfect for an (almost) summer day.
Mr says that the pickled red onions go really well with the vinaigrette.
This time last year: Sour Cream Ice Cream
And the year before: Roasted Butternut Squash