In December, my daughter, Kelly graduated from the University of Minnesota. All of those AP classes she took in high school really paid off, because she graduated a semester early! To celebrate her accomplishment, we had a family dinner party at our house and had Chef Manny back over to do the cooking for us.
The party was so much fun, we all got into the kitchen to help with the cooking and then Manny and his wife, Patty, served us a delicious multi-course dinner. For the salad course, we had a fabulous Pear and Spinach Salad. It was tossed with a warm bacon dressing and the tanginess of the dressing paired beautifully with the sweetness of the pear and the saltiness of the bacon.
This salad was absolutely delicious and it’s super easy to make. It would also be really easy to make this salad ahead of time. To make this ahead, prepare everything, but don’t put the salad together until right before you’re ready to serve it. Just make sure you squeeze a little lemon juice over the pear slices so they don’t brown. Then when you’re ready to serve, re-heat the dressing and assemble as instructed below.
Pear and Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
- 1 bag baby spinach
- 1 pear, cut into julienne slices
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut bacon into thin slices.
Cut pear into thin slices and then cut slices into thin strips. Set aside.
Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Pour off all but 2 tbsp of bacon fat. Add shallots and saute for about 2 minutes.
Whisk in vinegar and Dijon mustard. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss spinach with warm dressing.
Divide spinach between four salad plates and top with cooked bacon and pears.
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