Spinach Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette

This post puts us past the halfway mark for the 12 Days of Oscar feature, and the first film in the series that won an Oscar. The 1967 film Cool Hand Luke stars Paul Newman as Luke, sentenced to a Florida prison camp after cutting the heads off of a town’s parking meters while drunk.  He earns his nickname, “Cool Hand Luke,” after winning a poker game on a bluff with a worthless hand.  Luke frequently engages in activity that proves to the other prisoners that impresses them.  He also engages in activity that angers the prison guards, including repeated attempts to escape.  The film won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Greg Kennedy).  It was also nominated in the categories Best Music, Original Music Score and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material From Another Medium, and Paul Neman was nominated for Best Actor.

One incident that generates some respect for Luke is when he wins a bet to eat fifty hard-boiled eggs in an hour.  I wasn’t about to make (or eat) fifty hard-boiled eggs, but I will share one of my favorite things to do with a hard-boiled eggs.  That would be to put it on top of a spinach salad.  Now, for a long time, I’ve been making my spinach salad pretty simply.  That all changed today.  I used the Pioneer Woman’s method, and I won’t be looking back.  Caramelizing some red onions, sautéing mushrooms and combining it with crispy bacon, spinach dressed in warm bacon mustard vinaigrette, and a hard-boiled egg is worth every bit of extra effort.

Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 7 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 10 oz. package white button mushrooms
  • 8 oz. baby spinach, washed, dried, and stems removed
  • 3 Tbs. reserved bacon grease
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 dash salt

Directions:

To cook the eggs, place them in a small saucepan.  Cover with water, bring them to a boil, then turn off heat and allow to sit in water for 20 minutes.

Drain off water and put ice on top of eggs.

Meanwhile, cut the bacon strips in half, and then put in a skillet over medium heat and fry until crispy/chewy.

Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Remove 3 tablespoons grease and set aside.

Add 2 additional tablespoons of grease (if you have it) to a separate skillet over medium heat.

Slice red onions very thinly, then add to skillet with the 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.

Sprinkle some salt over the onions.

Cook slowly until onions are caramelized and reduced.

Remove to a plate and set aside.

Slice mushrooms and add them to the same skillet you cooked the onions in.

Cook slowly until caramelized and brown.

Remove to a plate and set aside.

Roughly chop the bacon.

Peel and evenly slice the eggs.

To make hot bacon dressing, add 3 tablespoons bacon grease, vinegar, sugar, and Dijon to a small saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat.

Whisk mixture together and heat thoroughly.

Add spinach to a large bowl.

Arrange onions, mushrooms, and bacon on top.

Pour hot dressing over the top; toss to combine.

Arrange eggs over the top and serve.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

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