Warm Spinach Salad with Mushrooms, Bacon and Cider Honey Dressing

Bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon!

Bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon!

Who said you can’t eat salads in colder weather? This warm spinach salad is exactly what you need to eat when you want to eat a salad but it’s also cold enough to put the heat on.

Back in the day when I was a bar hopping mad woman living in Portsmouth, my friends and I spent most Sunday’s at Molly Malones for several hours of brunch and cocktails. They had this great warm spinach salad with hard boiled eggs and mushrooms and at the time (many years ago), I had never had anything like it.  A warm salad? That’s crazy talk! Well, since then, I’ve seen and had many versions of that same salad at other restaurants and often make it at home.  It’s so delicious you forget that you’re eating a salad! I’m sure there are hundreds of versions of this salad on the internet but this is how I do it when I’m in the mood for a salad from a restaurant that no longer exists.  So good and super filling! This is a salad that will keep you going and it’s an awesome way to sneak in veggies for people who don’t like them (because bacon)!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
7 to 9 oz container of Organic Baby Spinach
4 Hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
16 oz white button or portobello mushrooms, sliced
8 oz Nitrite Free Bacon (organic if you can get it), cooked & chopped
1 large vidalia or red onion, cut in half, then sliced thinly
1 tbsp coconut oil, pastured butter or olive oil
optional: 1 bunch lightly steamed broccoli (I like to toss in extra veggies!)

Dressing
3 tbsp honey
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 large shallot, finely minced (or 2 tbsp of onion)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
(you can add  thickener like corn starch at the end of the cooking process if you want but it’s unnecessary – if concerned about gluten free eating, double check the brand you use.)

Directions
Cook your mushrooms and sliced onions in a tbsp of coconut oil or butter until onions are soft and mushrooms browned.  Season them with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the mushrooms and onions from the pan and make the dressing by adding the minced shallot, honey and cider vinegar to the same pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is soft and some of the liquid reduces, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the mixture (carefully) into a small bowl and whisk in the dijon mustard until well blended, then whisk in the olive oil slowly until everything is well combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the spinach, mushrooms, onions, broccoli if using, hard boiled eggs, and bacon among 4 plates.  Top with a little of the warm dressing and serve immediately (then wish you had made enough for seconds!).
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