Monday, March 2, 2009

Warm spinach and frisee salad

Spinach salad with bacon is a classic combination. What about a spinach salad with bacon, currants and roasted shallots? That’s not so ordinary.

This recipe from the Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook takes spinach salad to a whole new level. The salad base is spinach and frisee leaves. For a long time, I was ambivalent about frisee – it comes in a lot of the salad blends, but it never really stood out to me. Lately I’ve realized that frisee is quite delicious on its own, and have been incorporating it into my everyday cooking.

The spinach and frisee are tossed in a unique dressing – when you cook the bacon for this salad, reserve some of the fat in the pan. Balsamic vinegar is added to warm bacon fat and reduced a bit to make an intense, syrupy dressing. Bacon, currants and roasted shallots are also added to the mix.

This was truly an outstanding salad. If you roast the shallots in advance, it can be thrown together quite easily.

Warm spinach and frisee salad

Serves 4
Adapted from Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook

6 small shallots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tsp + 3 T balsamic vinegar
1 T olive oil
3 cups spinach leaves
3 cups frisee leaves
4 slices bacon, sliced crosswise
4 T dried currants
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the shallots with the olive oil and 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, then roast for 20 minutes, or until the shallots are golden brown and tender. Set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, cook the bacon in a large pan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon out of the pan and onto paper towels to drain. Leave 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan, drain off the excess. Pour the 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into the pan and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble, toss the greens with the dressing. Separate the shallots into rings and scatter over the salad. Top with bacon and currants.


69 comments:

Cathy said...

Looks great! I have a spinach salad recipe that I make with a warm bacon/maple vinaigrette that I could live on.

Varsha Vipins said...

What a clear n bright pic Sara..love shallots..:)

Jescel said...

your salad is too pretty too eat! i bet it's delicious..the greens looks o fresh, esp the frisee.

Selba said...

Beautiful spinach salad!

5 Star Foodie said...

Gorgeous salad! Just what we need for our light dinner tomorrow. Yum!

Monica H said...

Sara,

I tagged you with an award/meme on my blog!

noble pig said...

I've made this salad and I always love it!

redheadedjournal said...

Great salad photo!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

MMM, I can image the intense syrupy dressing now dripping over a nice piece of bacon....mmmm

TasteHongKong said...

Nice shot!

Girl Japan said...

Oh this looks so inviting and lusciously healthy but satisfying Sara!!! Keep up the fab work and stunning looking recipes..

Lorraine@NotQuiteNigella said...

This sounds beautiful, simple and healthy, yet gorgeous enough to serve at a dinner party. Bravo Sara! :) I've grown to like frisee, after a while though ;)

Passionate Eater said...

Warm spinach salad is something I've only had in restaurants, but with your recipe, I can now try it at home!

Karin said...

It's amazing how many different varieties of leaf vegetables there are. Aren't frisee leaves coarse and bitter?

Donna-FFW said...

Sara- Thats why I love coming to visit you here. You never cook ordinary, all of your stuff is extraordinary and I love reading about it.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Gorgeous salad Sara. I'm trying to learn to love frisee also. I've noticed that sometimes that is the part of the salad I leave on the plate. Shame on me. But I like the idea of mixing it with the spinach. So many spinach salads are too wilted but yours is perfect. I'm going to give it a try.
Sam

Sarah Herman said...

Yummmm! I love bacon and shallots! Frisee is yummy, I love the crunch and bitterness of the leaf.

EAT! said...

Fantastic recipe - I am a fan of roasting vegetables. So easy and and you don't have to stand over the pan.

Priscilla said...

Looks so yummy and refreshing!

Cassie said...

Balsamic vinegar and bacon fat dressing? Bestill my heart. This sounds incredible.

pantryrevisited said...

That salad would be great for my lunch today!

stephchows said...

I made a salad last night in the attempt to forget it's in the single digits with wind chill outside... BRRRRR!!!!

♥Rosie♥ said...

A beautiful spinach salad and all those flavours sound amazing together!

Jenna said...

That dressing looks so decadent!! I bet paired with those greens it was A.mazing!

Cheryl said...

I am not a fan of Frisee, but mixing with the spinach, I would try it. Great looking salad Sarah!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Oh Sarah I really like the unique addition of the currants with the spicy frisee! This ihas to be amazing!

Erica said...

I love warm veggies/meat on a cold salad- something just perfect about the combination. Looks like it turned out just perfect!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Looks great. I wish I had some for lunch.

Jess (Sweet Amandine) said...

Ooo, hot-cold salads are the best! Yours looks delicious. My favorite (for a little later in the season) is the combination of spinach and strawberries with warm wild mushrooms. Delish!

Stephanie said...

Spinach salad + bacon is one of my favorite things! I'm super jealous of your picture with Michael C. by the way! :)

Ingrid said...

Yum, spinach salad! It's lunch time and I've yet to eat. My daughter and I make a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. We do add shallots but to the warm dressing. Yours looks good.

While I've eaten frisee in salad blends. I can't remember what it tastes like, weird. I guess I'm going to go for a salad for lunch today. :-)
~ingrid

Sophie said...

MMMMM...that is a sald for me!!! Spinach & bacon,MMMMMM

Jennifer said...

I love a light refreshing salad. thank you for this fabulous recipe

teresa said...

Beautiful picture! I'm on a total salad kick right now, so this will be fun to try!

Pam said...

Looks healthy and delicious - I love spinach with bacon.

Lori said...

Definitely a yummy looking salad!

Katie said...

This spinach salad looks much better than my spinach salad I just ate!

Olga said...

So pretty! Look at your photo skills :)

Funny, I made bacon for breakfast on Sunday (microwaved it) and my apartment smelled like bacon for several days.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That sounds like my kind of salad - I love new spins on a classic!

Lo said...

OOh, Sarah. Not only delicious sounding, but gorgeous. This really takes me into thoughts of spring. YUM.

Reeni♥ said...

Their are such great flavors going on here! It's real delicious and refreshing!

Diana said...

If I swapped dried crans for the currants, I think that salad would have all my favorite things in it! Yum!

Jaime said...

that looks like a great salad - i'm always too lazy to make salads though...even though they're really not THAT much work :P

Debbie said...

That is a great looking salad. Perfect for nice lunch!

Hayley said...

I love adding balsamic to my sauteed onions. Your salad look wonderful, and your picture is beautiful, as always.

Bharti said...

This would be great w/o the bacon too. I love balsamic vinegar on onions- raw or sauteed.

thecleanveggie said...

gorgeous salads!
love when they are warm!

Claudia said...

I'm think I should just go to your blog before I grocery shop.

veggie belly said...

spinach with balsamic and im sold! gorgeous salad :)

LynnMarie said...

I love spinach salad, Sounds perfect with the balsamic! I wish my children would eat this. They do not know what they are missing.

Tartelette said...

Definitely the kind of salads I would eat until the last leaf! Love frisee and bacon and shallots!

SriLekha said...

wonderful shot and am feeling too fresh on seeinr ur pic

Jennifer said...

Frisee takes salads to a new level! Great recipe!!

Sara said...

Beautiful salad. Salads can seem so boring but with they can also be great with some thought.

Amanda said...

Another droolworthy food photo--now I want a salad! (And I don't usually want salad.)

Grace said...

i don't really like the taste or feel of frisee in my mouth, but this is great--there's bacon to compensate. :)

Bridgett said...

I have been to this restaurant several times over the years on our trips to Napa, we love it! This salad looks gorgeous!

unconfidentialcook said...

Love bacon in salad...actually in anything! The dressing with bacon "oil" sounds incredible. Thanks, and thanks for stopping by!

teresa said...

ps, I have something for you on my blog!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Love that dressing! Warm bacon grease is always a good thing.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Looks healthy AND delicious! Perfect!

Cookies and cakes said...

That is one of the best looking salads I have ever seen! You are so talented! Thank you for the post :-)

girlichef said...

yum, yum, yum!!! This sounds (and looks) so good...love the nice, meaty pieces of bacon. :)

mamakd said...

Bacon fat as the oil in a dressing...GENIUS! That salad looks absolutely scrumptious, thanks for the post!

Jan said...

Fabulous looking salad, Sara, and what a wonderful combination of flavors.

cold cocoa said...

Thanks for the comments on my blog! Looks like you've got quite a blog...your recipes are so fun and fancy!

Claudia said...

This was as good as it looks.

Maris said...

The dressing sounds so tasty! I don't like warm lettuce but on spinach - YUM!

Tammy said...

What a great looking salad! I've never tried cranberries with the spinach/bacon combo, but it sounds like a winner. You always seem to find some of the best recipes!