I love a super-satisfying salad, and this one has all the right elements: Crispness from the spinach, richness from the bacon, sweetness from the figs, and earthiness from the mushrooms. I made it again and added a few slices of grilled queso blanco, which made a deliciously creamy addition. —Erin McDowell
black pepper, as needed
large fig, cut into thirds (or 2 small figs, quartered)
mushrooms, thinly sliced
fresh roughly chopped herbs (I used rosemary and thyme)
Coat the bacon lightly with brown sugar, then season with pepper. Wrap the bacon slices around the figs. Place onto a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, toss the mushrooms with olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper to coat. Transfer to the other end of the baking sheet. Place the sheet into a 350 degree oven and roast until the bacon is crisp and the mushrooms are tender.
In a small bowl, toss the spinach with olive oil and vinegar. (If using, lightly brush the queso blanco with olive oil. Grill in a hot grill pan (or saute pan) until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.)
Add the warm mushrooms to the spinach and toss to combine. Top with the bacon wrapped figs (and grilled queso blanco), and serve.
I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.