Sweet, salty, crunchy, tender - this salad has it all. You can use real bacon, or like me, artificial bits and a dash of Liquid Smoke; I've included both alternatives. The pepper jelly in the dressing isn't hot, it just adds that rich pepper taste. A delicious salad! Serving amount is for salad eaten as a main dish. I've added cooking time for the bacon and hard-cooked eggs, if you don't already have them laying around to use.
- 3 -3 1⁄2 cups washed & trimmed raw spinach leaves
- 3 slices bacon, crisply fried and crumbled or 2 tablespoons bacon bits
- 1⁄3 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries or 3 tablespoons dried cherries
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1⁄4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon bacon drippings or 1⁄2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons jalapeno jelly
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 3 teaspoons ketchup
- Combine all salad ingredients and set aside.
- Briskly whisk together all dressing ingredients.
- Add more oil if needed, but I prefer this amount.
- Thoroughly combine dressing and salad, using as much dressing as you prefer.
Absolutely delicious! Toasted the pecans, used half the amount of oil called for, and omitted bacon grease in dressing. Dressing is really different but so wonderful. Loved the spicy, sweet balsamic combination. Lots of textures, colors, and flavors in the salad. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
8/17/04: This is a very good salad, easy to make, yet looks like you went to alot of trouble. The only things I did different was I used raisins instead of cranberries or cherries. I just could not find them at the grocery store. I also only used 4 tbsps of vegetable oil and I used hot jalepeno jelly. it was just enough for the two salads I made, which were on the small side. Again,delicious and simple! Thanks for a keeper, EdsGirlAngie! 9//9/09: I make this salad often and just had to post another photo :) Hopefully this photo shows how delicious this salad really is. I was able to find dried cherries and have been using them in this salad. I have also used rasberry-jalapeno jam. I use less bacon drippings and have even not used drippings at all and it always turns out great.