Spinach Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Blue Cheese

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From Closet Cooking.

This salad is just packed with flavor! Not allowing any flavor to go to waste this salad starts by cooking the bacon in a pan and then setting it aside, reserving some of the bacon grease. The remaining bacon grease is then used to caramelize the onions and finally to saute the mushrooms. After cooking everything in that one pan it is just covered with those caramelized brown bits of flavor and they are recovered by making the dressing like a simple pan sauce where the pan is deglazed with the dressing’s vinegar and then the reserved bacon grease is used as the dressing’s oil component. As if this salad were not already flavorful enough, I could not resist adding some mellow creamy blue cheese. This salad would make a great side dish or you can easily add a hard boiled egg and turn it into a light meal.

Makes 2 servings

2 eggs
4 slices bacon (cut into 1 inch slices)
1 cup red onion (sliced)
4 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic (grated)
salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup mild blue cheese (crumbled)

1. Cover the eggs in water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 7 minutes.
2. Transfer the eggs to cold water and let cool enough to hold.
3. Remove the shells from the eggs and slice.
4. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a pan and set aside reserving 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.
5. Caramelize the onions in the remaining bacon grease and set aside.
6. Caramelize the mushrooms in the remaining bacon grease and set aside.
7. Add the vinegar to the pan and deglaze it.
8. Add the reserved bacon grease, sugar, mustard, garlic and season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
9. Assemble salad and toss with dressing.

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