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Spinach Salad with Fried Egg and Bacon

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Serves 4

  • by Tasha DeSerio from Fine Cooking
    Issue 121

Spinach salad often features a hard-boiled egg, but in this version, the egg is fried and its yolk mixes with the greens to delicious effect.

  • 2 heaping cups torn bread (about 3/4-inch pieces) from a day-old rustic white loaf
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed to a paste with a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. red wine vinegar; more as needed
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 8 oz. baby spinach (about 8 cups), washed well and dried
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Put the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and toss lightly with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Spread in an even layer and season lightly with salt. Bake until crisp and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, mustard, and lemon juice. Let sit for 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Taste the vinaigrette with a leaf of spinach and season to taste with salt and vinegar if needed. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Cook the bacon on both sides until brown and crisp, about 7 minutes. Leave the skillet on the stovetop and turn off the heat. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan.

Put the spinach and croutons in a large bowl. Gently toss the salad with just enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat the greens and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among four serving plates.

Heat the bacon fat in the skillet over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and fry sunny-side up or over-easy, 1 to 2 minutes total. Top each salad with an egg and season with salt and pepper. Tear each slice of bacon into 3 or 4 pieces and tuck them into the salads. Serve immediately and pass any remaining vinaigrette at the table.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 410; Fat (g): 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 290; Saturated Fat (g): 6; Protein (g): 13; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21; Carbohydrates (g): 17; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): 820; Cholesterol (mg): 195; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is now my favorite go-to salad! I'm sure it is quite possibly the ingredients of bacon and fried eggs cooked in the bacon fat that entice me to want more! It is exceptionally simple yet packs a good punch as a meal. In one word - YUM!

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