Today's salad is just one version of the concept I've been playing with: basically a hearty salad with sturdy, dark greens and a warm bacon dressing poured over the top. I always add nuts, cheese, and something sweet. I've been trying to avoid bread, so no croutons!
2 slices bacon
1/4 cup pecans
2 cups baby spinach
3 oz. sliced turkey breast (or chicken breast)
2 TB feta cheese, crumbled (goat cheese would be fantastic, too)
1/4 cup sweet pickles (onions, beets, cukes, whatever you've got)
1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries (Trader Joe's carries these.)
1 TB maple syrup
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Place a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and pecans to pan. Toast pecans until just starting to brown. Remove pecans and set aside. Cook bacon until all fat is rendered and slices are brown and crisp. Remove from pan and drain. Place spinach in salad bowl. Add pecans, turkey, cheese, and pickles.
To make dressing: add blueberries, syrup, vinegar and mustard to the hot bacon fat in pan. Stir vigorously over medium heat until berries are hot. Do not cook too long or dressing will reduce and thicken too much. Should be runny! Pour directly over greens. Toss salad and crumble bacon over top. Serve immediately! Makes one hearty salad. Enjoy!