You know you love bacon and eggs! But can it be healthy? My Wilted Spinach With Warm Sherry Vinaigrette is loaded with healthy spinach, lightly candied pecans, and dried cranberries... But then there's bacon. BACON. Crispy bacon pieces, and lush umami-laden salt-cured egg yolk garnish, and it all gets dressed with a warm sherry vinaigrette. Delicioso!
I'm loving salt-cured egg yolks! Yes, they require a bit of planning. However, you can have them in your fridge in 15 minutes. A mixture of salt and sugar draw out their moisture over 4 days. Then, pop them in the oven at 150° for a couple of hours to dry out. They will keep in your refrigerator in an air-tight container for a month. YES. Their umami flavor is a lovely addition to pastas, salads, anything you'd use a strong hard strong-flavored cheese like sheep's milk pecorino romano on...
So, as I've fallen in love with salt-cured egg yolks, I've naturally sought to incorporate them into my cooking. I recently did Bacon and Egg Pasta With Spinach and Mushrooms that is finished with shaved salt-cured egg yolk. Delicious! We all know that bacon and eggs are a perfect pairing, right? One of my favorite dishes as a child was a wilted spinach salad with bacon, crumbled hard boiled egg, mushrooms, and a warm bacon vinaigrette. My mother was an amazing cook. That salad is a standout dish from my childhood, and an inspiration for Wilted Spinach With Warm Sherry Vinaigrette.
This dish has lots of complex flavor - smoky, salty, umami, sweet, and a bit of acidity from the sherry vinegar. However, it is NOT complicated. If your egg yolks are prepared, you can make this in under 30 minutes - even if you have ADHD like me. If you can't be bothered with the egg yolks, substitute a flavorful hard cheese like pecorino romano.
Prep and organization is key when you're working the clock. Start with the dried cranberries. Place the cranberries and dry sherry in a small ramekin in the microwave for 1 minute. Set aside near your cooktop. Next, candy the pecans. This process is also very simple. I promise. Add the tablespoon of sugar to a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the sugar is melted and browning, add the pecans. Note: Do not burn the sugar! Stir the pecans around in the melted sugar until they are well-coated. Scoop them on to a piece of foil, and immediately salt them. When they're cool, rough chop them.
Once the cranberries are re-hydrated and the pecans are candied, you are read to get started. Add the bacon lardons (sliced bacon pieces) to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook until bacon is crisp. Remove to paper toweling with a slotted spoon. Add the shallot or red onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper to the bacon drippings. Sauté until fragrant and shallot or onion are soft but not browned. Add the sherry vinegar. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Stir the spinach into the vinaigrette, add the cranberries with their liquid and the candied pecans. Use salad tongs to toss it all together. To serve, top the wilted spinach with shaved salt-cured egg yolk or hard cheese. Enjoy! I know you will. 😀
My Wilted Spinach With Warm Sherry Vinaigrette would be equally suited to your holiday table or alongside a piece of grilled fish or chicken on a weeknight. It is so versatile, full of nutrition, and quick and easy to make. I would love to hear your thoughts on salt-cured egg yolks... Is this something you've tried or would like to try? Please let me know!
Lastly, Christmas draws near. This is a special time for me and my family as we celebrate our Savior's birth. Whatever your family holds dear during this season, may you find peace and prosperity throughout the holidays and in the New Year.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
~~ Luke 2:11
Recommended Cooking Tools and Pantry Items:
- Stainless Steel Graters For Cheese (great for your salt-cured egg yolks)
- Deep Fry Pan With Cover
- Pecorino Romano
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