Hot Strawberry Spinach Salad with Bacon: A beautiful and perfectly seasonal spring recipe from the new Pure Delicious cookbook by Heather Christo. Great for entertaining!
Let me start by saying I absolutely LOVE salads. I have no idea why this is the first one I have ever posted on my site. It is kinda cray cray to be completely honest. However, I must say that I am certainly glad it happens to be this incredible Hot Strawberry Spinach Salad with Bacon from Heather Christo’s new cookbook Pure Delicious.
Heather’s cookbook is a God-sent for people like me with all types of crazy allergies. The book has over 150 allergen-free recipes. That means no gluten, dairy (hello intolerance for me!), eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts (hello allergy for me!), shellfish, or cane sugar! It also has gorgeous photos of all recipes throughout. I can’t tell you how much having a book like this will change my life in so many ways. Heather knows how to make us allergy folks still experience decadence and deliciousness without feeling left out.
So what attracted me to this salad? I was intrigued by the notion of a hot salad because I have never had a hot salad before. It was kind of mind-boggling. I needed to try it out. In the book, Heather tells a lovely story of how she made all types of these hot salads while she was working in her first restaurant job. Now she serves them when she entertains.
I’m so glad I gave this a go. I absolutely loved all of the elements in this recipe. Spinach is a fave of mine. Here, I used a mix of spring greens, mostly spinach, but also some arugula, red chard and a bit of gorgeous red cabbage. I loved seeing the bright cool and warm colors co-mingling while tossing this salad. The strawberries were bright and filled with so much juiciness and flavor.
The tartness and sweetness of the balsamic vinegar and honey was exceptional. But what is a Hot Strawberry Spinach Salad without the Bacon? I mean seriously the bacon in this was probably my favorite part. Who doesn’t love bacon? Heather knew exactly what would catch my attention. And bacon did it! The salty flavor with the sweetness of the berries and honey was oh so right in every possible way.
When I first made this recipe, I didn’t share it with a soul. I ate the whole thing (all 4 servings) during the entire day and then did the same thing the next day. I guess you can say that it spoke to me and made its way into my heart. Heather’s cookbook Pure Delicious has done the same. I cannot wait to continue exploring it.
- 5 uncured bacon slices
- 1 large shallot minced
- Kosher Salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
- In a skillet or heavy pan, cook the bacon until crispy on both sides. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.
- Add the shallot and a sprinkle of salt to the bacon fat and cook over low heat, stirring often, until the shallot is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the oil, vinegar, and honey and stir. Cook for 5 minutes more.
- Remove the dressing from the heat and add the spinach, strawberries, and crumbled bacon to the pan. Toss the salad well to coat the leaves (they will wilt slightly) and season with salt. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.
- Note: If possible, try using one of the beautiful artisanal spinaches available seasonally, like the red spinach in the cookbook.