Spinach Salad with warm bacon dressing
1 lb baby spinach, washed & dried
4 oz mushrooms, sliced thick
3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in large dice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 peach, sliced
1 naval orange in segments
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans
1 hardboiled egg, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup bacon fat
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 orange
1 cup olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt & black pepper
Place bacon in a pan and render over moderate heat until just crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel. Keep fat warm to use in the dressing.
Saute mushrooms in 1 tsp vegetable oil. Set aside. Place vinegars and sugar in another small pot and bring to boil. Segment your orange, making sure to save the juice.
When sugar/vinegar mixture is boiling, add honey and reserved orange juice. Lower heat and slowly add olive oil and bacon fat, whisking as you do. Finish dressing with pepper flakes and season to taste.
Assemble spinach in large bowl and add A SMALL AMOUNT of dressing. Toss to cover leaves. Place this in a serving bowl, add all other ingredients and finish by dividing the remaining dressing over the top of your finished salads. Serve immediately!