Spinach Salt with Warmed Bacon Dressing
Serves 4-6 as a first course
3 large eggs
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces pre-washed baby spinach (about 8 cups)
1-1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt
4 tablespoons bacon fat (6 slices thick-cut bacon—about 8 ounces—cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 medium red onion, chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)
1 small clove garlic, minced and pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with 1 quart ice water. Transfer eggs to ice water with slotted spoon; let stand 5 minutes, then peel eggs, quarter them lengthwise, and set aside.
Sauce the mushrooms in a bit of butter until they release their water and just begin to brown. Set aside.
Place spinach in large bowl. Stir vinegar, sugar, pepper, and salt together in small bowl until sugar dissolves; set aside.
Fry bacon in medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel–lined plate. Pour bacon fat into heatproof bowl, then return 3 tablespoons bacon fat to skillet.
Add onion to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes; stir in garlic until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add vinegar mixture, then remove skillet from heat; working quickly, scrape bottom of skillet with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits.
Pour hot dressing over spinach, add bacon, and toss gently with tongs until spinach is slightly wilted. Divide among individual plates, arrange egg quarters and sautéed mushrooms over each, and serve.
Serve with a hearty bread, good butter, and perhaps a nice chunk of sharp cheddar cheese and a pear.