I’m growing spinach in my back yard – an easy, cool weather crop that comes up quickly (my kind of fast food) and can be replanted, providing a constant supply of fresh greens all summer long. Spinach does well in partial shade, and can be grown in planter boxes, even if all you have is a deck or window sill.
With this new abundance of perfect, as local as you can get spinach, we’re starting to eat more dark green salads. I do love wilted spinach and spinach in soup, but I can hardly bear to wilt such perfect leaves. Awhile ago, we came up with the perfect use of them – bacon and egg spinach salad. Easy, fast, cheap – and a great way to turn a salad into a full meal-in-a-bowl. Crusty bread toasted to crouton perfection is reminiscent of the toast that would normally go alongside bacon and eggs, and the soft-boiled or poached eggs allow for runny yolk to mingle with the dressing – far more tempting than the usual hard-boiled you’d find in a spinach salad. I can hardly imagine a spinach salad any other way now.
Bacon & Egg Spinach Salad
This salad is also brilliant with a chopped tomato or ripe avocado.
1/2 baguette, cut into chunks, or about 3 cups of cubed or torn crusty bread
olive or canola oil
1 garlic clove, squished
1 big bunch fresh baby spinach (or 1 bag)
3-5 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
4 eggs, poached or soft-boiled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive or canola oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. grainy mustard
1 tsp. sugar
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Spread the bread chunks out on a baking sheet. Pour some oil into a small dish and swish the garlic clove around in it; drizzle over the bread and toss to lightly coat, then toast in the oven until golden. To make the dressing, shake everything up in a jar or whisk together in a bowl. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Build your salad with greens, crumbled bacon and croutons, then top with an egg and drizzle with dressing.