•Salads seem to be the thing for me this summer. I’ve been trying new combinations of flavors, textures and trying to be creative with dressings. This salad passed the test of some harsh critics (teenagers) even though they thought it was weird. Never seen anybody argue with bacon which is the secret to the vinaigrette…….please no judgement when you read below =)For the salad 6 strips of thick cut bacon 2 bags of pre washed baby spinach 2 oranges-supremed if you accept the challenge or 2 small cans of mandarin oranges, drained (much easier) 1 small red onion- cut into thin half moons 1 pint of strawberries-sliced lengthwise For the vinaigrette 1 tbls orange zest-get the zest before juicing 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice- approx 2 oranges 1 tsp lemon zest 1 small clove of garlic-roughly chopped 2 tsp red wine vinegar 1/3 cup olive oil 1 tbls reserved bacon grease-no judgement pinch red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper-plus a pinch to sprinkle over salad when finished serves 4-6 cooking and assembly time-30 min special equipment-blender (a small food processor would work too)
Heat oven to 350° line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Lay the bacon out and cook 10-15 min until done to your likeness, flipping once. Drain bacon on a paper towel lined plate. Carefully tilt the baking pan and reserve 1 tbls of that tasty bacon fat. Add to the blender.
While the bacon is cooking, wash and slice the strawberries, supreme the oranges, or drain the cans of mandarin oranges, slice the red onion and add all to a large bowl along with the spinach. When the bacon is cooled, cut into larger bite size pieces and add to salad.
Add the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients into the blender and give it all a whirl until combined and thickened. Taste-adjusting salt and pepper if needed.
Right before serve, pour vinaigrette over salad, just to coat (serve any extra on the side) and sprinkle with a pinch of cracked black pepper♥Enjoy
•Some toasted walnuts or pecans would be a delicious add in