I can't believe it, but it's time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal! This month I was assigned Cooking...On The Ranch. Lea Ann, the talented author of the blog, has so many good recipes on her blog, not to mention a love for Mexican food that makes me smile, that the decision was really tough.
I honestly thought I was going to choose one of her awesome Mexican dishes, but then I saw this recipe for White Bean, Bacon and Spinach Salad. It looked so good and so fresh and so delicious, I just knew it was my recipe for the month.
The salad itself is pretty simple - a mix of spinach, peppers, onion, crumbled bacon and white beans. I made a couple of small changes - the recipe calls for a diced red pepper, for which I substituted assorted colors of sweet peppers. And the onions called for in the recipe are green onions, but I decided to use red - I thought the color would look great with the other assortment of vegetables in the salad.
There was one more change I made to the recipe, too. You see, the dressing for this salad is a maple-syrup based vinaigrette. So, when cooking the bacon to be crumbled on the salad, I first brushed it with about a tablespoon of maple syrup, just to up the maple-y goodness of the whole thing.
Once all of the components were prepared, all that was left to do was to combine everything...
...and then toss it with the dressing! In my case, I had a little helper with this part...
The results were delicious. Aside from being really beautiful and colorful to look at, the flavors all came together perfectly.
While we had this salad as a side to our dinner, with the bacon and beans, it is hearty enough to be a meal all in itself - and a delicious one, at that!
Lea Ann, I can't wait to try more recipes from your beautiful blog - I particularly have my eye on your Tangy Pineapple Chicken! :)
White Bean, Bacon and Spinach Salad
(from Cooking...On The Ranch)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can Great Northern beans — drained
1/2 cup green onions — sliced (I used diced red onion)
1/2 cup red bell pepper — chopped (I used assorted sweet pepper - red, yellow and orange)
5 slices bacon — cooked and crumbled
14 oz spinach
Combine first maple syrup, cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small microwave safe bowl, stirring with a whisk; microwave at high 1 minute or until hot. Place beans in a two-quart glass measure, microwave until hot, one minute.
Combine onions, bell pepper, bacon and spinach in a large bowl. Add syrup mixture and beans. Toss well to combine. Serve immediately.