Posted by: timscooking | May 14, 2010

Spinach Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

It is recorded in history that the ancient Greeks and Romans would eat a wide variety of leafy greens dressed with vinegar and oil, so it is no surprise that you can find literally thousands of recipes for salads today by simply typing the word “salad” in the search box of your browser. 

Spinach salad is no exception. The classic spinach salad seems to have evolved from the Pennsylvania Dutch (who weren’t really Dutch but German) recipe for potato salad that used a warm bacon dressing on boiled potatoes. You will find that while there are many variations, most spinach salad recipes have these things in common: bacon, onion and a sweet and sour dressing.

I used to make spinach salads using a bottled sweet and sour dressing but since I’ve sworn off the bottled stuff, I’ve developed my own dressing using honey and mustard to achieve the sweet/sour  taste that is essential to the classic taste of a spinach salad. You can build the salad from there but remember the three basic elements mentioned above. I didn’t use them here but hard-boiled eggs are another component that you’ll find in many recipes. This recipe is great for 2 as a main course or could be used for 4 as a side salad with a steak or thick cut pork chop.


8 oz. maple-smoked bacon

8 oz. baby spinach, washed and spun dry

1/4 red onion, sliced thin

1/2 walnuts, chopped

4 oz. goat cheese

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. honey

3 tbsp. champagne or white wine vinegar

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Arrange the bacon on a rack over a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the chopped walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat and roast for ten minutes, tossing occasionally. When the bacon is done, remove from the rack and drain on paper towel. Reserve the bacon drippings in a measuring cup.

To make the dressing, place the honey, mustard and vinegar in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add enough olive oil to the bacon drippings to make 1/2 cup. Drizzle into the bowl and whisk until all is combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Taste the dressing and add more honey to balance the sour, if necessary.

Add the spinach and red onion to the bowl and toss to coat. Chop the bacon into 1/2 dice. Arrange the spinach and red onions on chilled salad plates, top with the bacon, walnuts and goat cheese.



  1. Wow this looks really yummy! You will have to make this one day when I am over or for a party! Goat cheese and bacon! You can’t go wrong!

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