Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bacon Lovers' Salad

A favorite destination on Date Night is Borders Books. Recently Sweetie and I sat in a couple of their comfortable chairs and browsed our way through favorite magazines. I also picked up a copy of Southern Living's Our Best Recipes, Vol 4.

For starters, the cover had a delicious sweet roll recipe that can be baked in a cast iron skillet. It looked prefect for Christmas breakfast - brunch. We have a tradition of eating on sweet breads on Christmas morning. Since our daughter will be home for Christmas this year, I'm beginning to think about what to bake.

I ended up buying the book because it had so many great sounding recipes. (I also remind myself that it isn't the library, so they need us to purchase books and magazines to stay in business.)

The one I wanted to try first is sure to be a hit with bacon lovers (Y'all know who you are).
It combines roasted chunks of sweet potato (I actually used Garnet yams) and onion, crumbles of crisp bacon, fresh baby spinach, and a warm dressing using bacon drippings, red wine vinegar, orange juice and a little honey which wilts the spinach a bit. I made it tonight and it's a winner.

The vinegar, honey, and orange juice cuts the richness and fat of the bacon while the spinach adds it's distinctive flavor and the roasted yams and onions have a sweet note, too. I added some orange zest which brightened up the whole dish beautifully.

This would be a great salad for Thanksgiving. If you added some dried cranberries it would also work well for Christmas. We had it tonight with a pork loin roast, sliced tomatoes, & steamed broccoli.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Serves 6-8

1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes (or yams)
1 large red onion or 1-2 large yellow onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil (or, even better, use grapeseed oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (6 oz.) bag fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed, then dried
Warm Bacon Dressing (recipe follows)
3-4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon (from the dressing recipe)

Peel the sweet potatoes / yams, and cut into 1 inch cubes. Cut onions into quarters, and cut each quarter in half.

Toss together sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, and oil (I put it into a plastic bag, seal, then shake well to coat the vegetables witht he oil and garlic). Place on a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined 15 x 10 inch pan. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, combine the baby spinach, the roasted veggies and the warm dressing. Toss well to coat the spinach leaves with the dressing. Garnish with the crumbled bacon. Serve at once.

Warm Bacon Dressing

4 bacon slices
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons orange juice
the zest from one orange
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook bacon slices in a large skillet, over medium-high heat 8 - 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Crumble bacona nd set aside for garnish.

Stir red wine vinegar and remaining ingredients into hot drippings in skillet; cook over medium heat,stirring occasionally, 1-3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Immediately pour over the salad.


  1. Anonymous10:14 PM

    Very colorful salad. And who doesn't like bacon?

  2. You had me at bacon. This salad looks and sounds wonderful!

  3. Elle, what a beautiful, colorful and delicious salad!

    Brilynn is gonna love this... :)

  4. Anonymous3:26 AM

    (The leaves on your heading make me nostalgic. It has rained so much here and then snapped back and forth between cold and rain that we didn't really get much in terms of prettily colored leaves. At least not here in the city...)

    Holy smokes, this salad sounds awesome. Dotted with dried cranberries, this would just be amazing. YUM. (Granted, I'd use veggie bacon, but still!!!)

  5. I love your salads, Elle. They're the kind that I could (and frequently do) eat at every meal

  6. You go on the same dates as I do. Hubby and I spend many a night hanging at the bookstore.

    Gorgeous salad. Wow!

  7. Oh bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon...

    There is nothing better in this world than bacon...and chocolate...and cake...and brussel sprouts (but maybe not all together except for maybe a chocolate bacon cake)

    This salad sounds like such a winner that I'm going to get some sweet potatoes at lunch and make this for dinner this week!

    Thanks for a great recipe

  8. This salad looks so good!! I have been trying not to bookmark too many recipes lately (I have way too many marked!) but this is a salad that would be a definite hit at my house! Maybe I'll make it tonight!

  9. Anonymous9:18 AM

    wow! thanks for the inspiration... I'm thinking of using roasted squash with my bacon and greens!

  10. Looks delicious, a classic made even yummier by potatoes!

  11. Had a funny feeling that bacon would go over well. I use it so rarely that I had to get the 4 slices for this recipe out of the freezer, but when it's the right ingredient, nothing else will do. Next time i'll use turkey bacon and the following time probably my favorite veggie bacon, but for the first time it had to be the real thing. And don't forget the orange makes the salad sing.

  12. This is definitely for me! Mmmmm warm bacon dressing...

  13. Did-someone-just-say-bacon? In a salad? okay, I am a salad lover from now on :)

  14. Both hands in the air, jumping up and down, miming: Me! Me! Me!

  15. Glad to see that the bacon lovers have joined in. Well, we're all bacon lovers, right?

  16. Looks beautiful. That dressing is interesting too.

  17. Anonymous6:01 AM

    The bookstore would be our idea of a perfect date night! That salad...I think I may have that on our Thanksgiving menu! It sounds wonderful!

  18. Sign me up for this salad! Yummy, indeed.

  19. Okay without a doubt.. I need THIS salad with THAT dressing and a big bowl of your chicken soup! *slurp*

    Mmmmm bacon. =)


  20. Kelly M, It's a nice dressing...not too heavy.

    Kristen,Hope it works for you for Thanksgiving...and it's great to hear that bookstores are you date night favorite, too, especially with recent reports that so many people in the U.S. no longer open a book at all. The rest of us have to do extra book reading and buying to compensate, I guess.

    Passionate. Enjoy!

    Lis, Come for lunch! We'll have the salad with extra bacon, the chicken soup and something chocolate for dessert. :)