Cherry-Bacon Vinaigrette

This is my all-time, hands down, absolute FAVORITE salad.  I would eat this every day for the rest of my life.  Maybe I didn’t make it clear enough.  If I were on death row, this would be my last meal.  It’s sweet, salty, tangy, with just a very little kick.  You manage to eat a ton of spinach (dark leafy greens are some of the best for you), and it’s a super flavorful dressing that isn’t cream-based (thereby making it healthier, even with a little bacon in it), but you get the creaminess to cut through the vinaigrette from the goat cheese.

Recipe – Makes 4 appetizers or 2 dinner salads

4 oz. bacon, diced

1/2 c diced yellow onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 T sugar

2 T Creole mustard

1/3 c red wine vinegar

1/2 c dried cherries

4 T goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a pan until crispy.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, take the bacon out to drain on a paper towel, leaving a couple of tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pan.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and allow to cook on medium heat until translucent.
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the sugar and stir until it is no longer visible as its own ingredient.
  6. Pour the mustard and vinegar into the pan to deglaze it.
  7. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
  8. Add the cherries and stir until they just begin to plump up.
  9. Take the pan off the heat and add the bacon back in.
  10. Stir, and immediately pour over spinach.
  11. Sprinkle goat cheese over the salad and serve.

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