This is a classic American salad and a real favorite of mine. We took the classic Fannie Farmer cookbook recipe (reprinted in Saveur here) and updated it a little. This is an easy, delicious gluten-free meal.
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
7 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 strips bacon (thick slices are best)
1 bag of baby spinach, stemmed, washed, and dried
6–8 medium white mushrooms, sliced, with stems cut off
1 medium shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
2⁄3 cup vegetable oil
2 poached eggs*
1/4 cup banana chips
1. Combine garlic, sugar, yogurt, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, separate strips of bacon, then lay the bacon in a large skillet in a single layer. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, 10–15 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to let drain. Pour off all but 2 tbsp. of the bacon grease and set skillet aside.
3. Put spinach, mushrooms, and shallots into a large salad bowl and set aside. Return skillet with rendered bacon grease to medium heat. Stir in oil and lemon–garlic mixture and heat until hot. Pour hot dressing over spinach salad and toss well. Coarsely crumble as much of the cooked bacon as you like and add it to the salad, saving any remaining bacon for another use. Top with banana chips and poached eggs.
*Poaching eggs is tricky. You should get the hang of it after a few tries, but if you really get discouraged, you can always go the classic route and chop up a few hard-boiled eggs. I recommend doing everything Alton Brown says, especially the bit about using fresh eggs. The texture, firmness and taste of farmer’s market eggs really can’t be beat.