Watercress and Bacon Salad: Page 82, Another Taste of Aloha

I always grab a bag of spinach at the grocery store, because I know how good it is for my family.  I used to use it mainly in a lasagna (have I mentioned my lasagna?), but these cookbooks have opened my eyes to the classic spinach salad (which I first described when I the awesome Aegean Spinach Salad).  The Watercress and Bacon Salad on page 82 of Another Taste of Aloha, in the Salads section, actually has more spinach than watercress, and the warm dressing has a similar effect to the hot oil in the classic spinach salad.  So here’s another spinach salad, with a twist – bacon!  We all know bacon makes everything better…

I really enjoyed this salad.  I found this recipe because I was in the mood for bacon, but wanted something a little healthier than a BLT.  Although the recipe calls for fresh uncooked mushrooms, I couldn’t resist sauteing the meaty portabella mushrooms in the bacon fat to give them a smoky flavor.  The hot mushrooms certainly added a little extra bacon oomph! and satisfied my craving.

The dressing was a new method for me – an egg dressing cooked and whisked over medium heat, then chilled quickly over ice to “slightly warm”, which warmed the sniach when poured over the salad.  It was delicious and interesting!  I will definitely be using my spinach in this recipe again soon.

If you love bacon, this recipe is for you.  (Which makes it for everyone…right?)

An interesting way to make dressing!

Watercress and Bacon Salad

SALAD Ingredients:

  • 2 cups watercress leaves, washed and torn into bite-sizes pieces
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, washed, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
DRESSING Ingredients:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the watercress, spinach, bacon and mushrooms.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  In a saucepan, whisk egg, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar and mustard until thick and foamy.  Cook over a medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the dressing is thick and smooth.  Do not allow to come to a boil.  Immediately place saucepan in a pan filled with ice water.  Whisk for one minute to cool slightly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon slightly warm dressing over salad.  Toss gently and serve immediately.

Serves 6 – 8.

Buy the cookbook at www.juniorleagueofhonolulu.org (click the eStore tab).  All proceeds go to support our charitable work in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

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