Spinach Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese, and Bacon Vinaigrette

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8 slices bacon
3 ounces pecans
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons bacon grease
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 10-ounce bag baby spinach
½ red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil.  Place bacon on foil and bake for 10 minutes, or until bacon is crispy, turning once mid-way through baking time. Reserve 2 Tablespoons bacon grease.  Crumble bacon.
  2. In a dry nonstick skillet over medium low heat, toast pecans until fragrant. Rough chop the pecans.
  3. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and canola oil until an emulsion begins to form. Add warm bacon grease and whisk again until combined.  Add salt and pepper as desired.
  4. Toss together spinach, red pepper, dressing until well-coated. Add half of the cheese, bacon, and pecans.  Toss again.
  5. Plate, sprinkling the remaining bacon, pecans, and cheese on top.

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