Wilted spinach salad with goat cheese and spiced walnuts
Yield: 4 servings
2 thick slices bacon, preferably applewood smoked, diced
1/4 cup each: balsamic vinegar, water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, see note, julienned
1/2 pound (6 to 7 cups) fresh young spinach, stems removed, washed and dried
1/2 cup spiced walnuts, recipe follows
3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
For dressing, cook bacon in a non-stick skillet until crisp. Use
a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towel. Pour off fat but do
not wipe pan. Add vinegar, water, olive oil, salt and pepper to
pan. Heat to a boil. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, for salad, put all ingredients except half of the walnuts
in a large bowl.
Pour hot dressing over salad and toss. Adjust seasoning. Divide
among 4 salad plates. Garnish with crisp bacon and reserved walnuts.
Note: To roast a pepper, heat broiler and position rack 6 inches
from heat source. Line broiler pan with aluminum foil. Stand peppers
on a board and cut off sides in 4 slices, following the natural
contours. Arrange on pan, skin side up. Broil until skin is blackened.
Transfer peppers to paper bag, seal tightly and let stand at least
10 minutes. Slip off skins. Can be refrigerated overnight or frozen
up to 1 month.