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Author Notes: A fresh spinach salad, loaded with vegetables, sprinkled with crispy bacon and topped with a melty-gooey round of fried chèvre.
—garlic and zest
- 12 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced or diced red onion
- 8 fresh mushrooms caps, thinly sliced
- 8 slices bacon, diced
- 4 campari or plum tomatoes, cut into wedges - or 1 cup grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced into half moons
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1/2 cup panko or dry breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons hot rendered bacon fat
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- special equipment: unwaxed, unflavored dental floss
- Heat a skillet over medium- medium high heat and add chopped bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally until bacon is browned and crisped. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat for the dressing.
- Add the spinach, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes and cucumber in a salad bowl or arrange on a platter .Peel the eggs and slice them into quarters - set aside.
- Add the bacon fat, olive oil red wine vinegar, shallot, dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to emulsify and set aside.
- Slice the goat cheese with the dental floss. Lay the floss flat on a cutting board. Place the goat cheese on top of the floss and cross the ends of the floss. Continue to pull the ends until it cuts off an even slice. Repeat with the remaining goat cheese.
- Place the bread crumbs in a dish and place goat cheese slices on top, lightly pressing the bread crumbs into the cheese. Flip the cheese and coat the other side with the bread crumbs.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the goat cheese rounds and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until just browned. Transfer to a paper towel lined dish.
- If the rendered bacon drippings have started to congeal, microwave the dressing for 10-15 seconds to warm it and stir again to emulsify. Pour the warm dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Divide the salad onto 4 plates. Sprinkle each salad with bacon. Divide eggs among the plates and top each salad with the warm goat cheese. Serve.