Before my husband and I had kids, we would make dinner together on Sunday nights. We would try something new every week and most of the dishes were a little labor intensive since we had the time to spare! Oh those were the days! This Spinach Salad with Roasted Garlic and Warm Bacon Dressing is part of the last meal we actually made together! I found it years ago in Bon Appetite.
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 45 min
1/4 cup plus 3 T. olive oil
1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves (about 12 large ones)
4 bacon slices, chopped
1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
2 T. minced shallots
1 T. dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. light molasses
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon or 3/4 tsp. dried
1 1/2 6 oz. packages ready to use baby spinach leaves
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Preparing Spinach Salad with Roasted Garlic and Warm Bacon Dressing:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup oil and garlic in a small baking dish. Cover with foil; bake until garlic is very tender, about 45 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to work surface and finely chop. Transfer garlic to medium bowl. Reserve roasted garlic oil.
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Pour drippings into medium bowl. Add vinegar, shallot, mustard, honey, molasses and tarragon. Whisk to blend. Add roasted garlic, garlic oil, bacon and remaining 3 T. olive oil and whisk to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Place spinach, sliced onion and blue cheese in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Serve.