It’s funny how trends change, and something that was a fixture on every restaurant menu just vanishes from sight. In the wink of an eye… it’s just gone.
I used to love spinach salads with hot bacon dressing. Crisp, dense, tightly curled spinach leaves, chopped boiled eggs, and that sweet / tart vinegary dressing laced over the top – slightly wilting the greens, releasing that dark green musky aroma of true spinach. and if you get the dressing just hot enough, you can hear it crackling down the salad as that hot bacon-y goodness comes in contact with the moisture in the greens. It was the best salad I ever ate.
Sadly, no one grows – or sells – real spinach anymore. Or – I should say, you can’t get it here. And, I think that really was the cause of the demise of the salad. The flat, sorrel-ish crap they pass off as spinach these days just doesn’t have the same oomph! that real, curly, dark spinach has.
Truth be told – I made pizza for lunch today… and ate all of it. So, I wasn’t really in the mood or gastronomical indulgence to do much of anything else for dinner tonight. As you may remember, we’re doing the hay bale garden this year – and the first of my crops are ready. Since the early spinach was a bust last year, I elected to try my hand a chard and radishes. The chard has been a rounding success… the radishes…well… I’ve got some nice greens… and some red sticks.
I decided to try substituting radish and chard greens for spinach – and making a traditional -ish spinach salad.
Chard and Radish Green Salad
with Hot Bacon Dressing
1 Large Bunch of Chard
1 Bunch of Radish Greens (or – sub turnip greens – or nothing)
3 Strips Fatty Bacon – Jullienned
1 Shallot – Minced
1 Teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar
Pinch Celery Seed
3 Eggs – Boiled
1 Medium Skillet
1 Large Salad Bowl
- Remove the stalks off the chard and radish and chop into 1/2″ sections
- Split and chop the greens into 1″ pieces
- Rough chop the eggs and set aside
- On medium high heat cook the bacon until crispy
- Add the shallots and cook until clear (about 1 minute)
- Add the vinegar, sugar, salt pepper, celery seed and chard stalk bits
- Reduce the heat to medium and reduce the dressing to 1/2
- While that’s reducing, Arrange the greens on a 2 large salad plates.
- Top each of the greens with 1/2 of the chopped eggs
- Remove the dressing from the heat and ladle 1/2 of the dressing over each salad
Serve immediately with fresh corn muffins