Spinach salad, when made in the classic steak house style, has tender baby spinach, fresh mushrooms, sliced onion, crisp bacon, and hard boiled eggs. A warm bacon vinaigrette is drizzled over the top, slightly wilting the spinach leaves.
Warm spinach salad is one of those old fashioned salads that used to be on every menu, in every restaurant, in the 70’s. But you hardly ever see them anymore. I wonder why? (This post was originally published on January 25, 2012. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
Warm spinach salad Ingredients
The key to creating a delicious salad lies in the quality of the ingredients. Always use the freshest produce you can find, especially when it involves spinach. As it ages, spinach develops a rancid smell, and even before that, it gets wilted and flimsy. Neither of those are what you want in your spinach salad. Next you’ll need bacon. This isn’t the time for thin bacon. Go for a nice thick-cut bacon. Add wafer thin red onion, hard boiled eggs and sliced mushrooms.
What makes this spinach salad wilted?
Unlike most vinaigrette dressings, this warm bacon dressing is what will wilt the spinach leaves. The spinach leaves are gently tossed with the warm dressing which just barely wilts or cooks them. Because the leaves are delicate, it’s best to serve it immediately as it won’t hold up well for a long period of time.
Can you make spinach salad ahead of time?
The short answer is no. BUT, you can prep all the components ahead of time. The assembly will take just minutes to throw together. You can hard boil the eggs, fry the bacon, and slice the onions ahead of time. Store all the ingredients in covered containers in the fridge. Buying a package of pre-washed baby spinach will also save time. With the reserved bacon fat, make the vinaigrette. Heat the bacon dressing just before serving.
Assembling the salad
It’s best to toss the spinach with the dressing first, then lightly with the sliced onions, bacon and mushrooms. Add the hard boiled egg slices after plating for a nicer presentation.
Warm Spinach Salad
- 8 ounces baby spinach washed and dried
- 2 eggs hard boiled, sliced
- 8 ounces bacon thick-sliced
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 1 small red onion very thinly sliced
- Fry the bacon and drain on a paper towel, reserving 3 Tablespoons of the fat. Dice the bacon and set aside.
- Heat the fat in a saucepan low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Add the mushrooms and the onion to the spinach and toss.
- Add the warm dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.
Chef Mimi says
I’m so glad you reposted this! I was just thinking about this dressing a while back, then my mind went blank. And you’re so right – the first time I had this salad was at Marie Callender’s restaurant in Salt Lake City, and it was probably 1971. I wasn’t even a salad eater back then, but that warm vinaigrette made it so good. I think they called it a sizzling bacon salad or something… Anyway, I need to make it… thanks!
Pleasure to go through such wonderful work!!
basket random says
Healthy and also delicious!