Spinach Salad recipes come in so many varieties, but this is one truly stands out from the crowd. I've been eating it since I was a kid and I never get tired of it. Imagine a delicious spicy-sweet honey and black pepper dressing coating a hearty salad of spinach, bacon, avocado, hard-boiled egg, mushroom, shallot and tomato. Sounds amazing, right!?
My mom clipped this recipe from an electric bill in 1971. Growing up, this was a go-to salad in our house. One of those little gems that you can wow dinner guests with or use to stoke your ego at a potluck when someone says, "Have you tried this salad? It's amazing!"
Ingredients You Need to Make Spinach Salad
For the dressing:
- Garlic: fresh garlic clove
- Honey: or maple syrup
- Olive Oil: good quality, extra-virgin olive oil
- Unseasoned Rice Vinegar: or apple cider vinegar
- Fine Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the salad
- Spinach: pre-washed baby spinach is ideal
- Tomatoes: ripe plum tomatoes or roma tomatoes
- Avocados: ripe but slightly firm avocado for easier slicing
- Mushrooms: button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms
- Shallot: or red onion
- Bacon: your favorite variety
- Eggs: large eggs or extra large eggs
I have a photocopy of the heirloom recipe. But I've made a few changes and suggest you do the same: skip the croutons, swap in olive oil for mayonnaise and, for heaven's sake, use real bacon or pork belly.
You can use any fresh spinach that has been washed, dried and torn into bite size pieces for spinach salad. But the easiest choice (and the one I recommend) is to use pre-washed baby spinach.
This main-dish salad stands on its own beautifully, but makes a fantastic side dish too! I love to serve it with Baked Lamb Chops in the fall and winter months and Carne Asada and Grilled Shrimp during the summer. The recipe serves 6 people as a main course and 10 as a side.
More family favorite salads to try!
- Strawberry Spinach Salad (With a honey sweetened balsamic vinaigrette, fresh strawberries, pecans and creamy goat cheese!)
- Creamy Cucumber Salad (Easy, creamy and low calorie!)
- Corn Salad (We make this all summer!)
- Italian Potato Salad (Hearty and delicious salad where every bite is different.)
- Little Gem Salad (A 10 minute salad that goes with everything.)
How to make Spinach Salad
Add dressing ingredients to a blender pitcher: garlic, honey, rice vinegar, black pepper, and salt; blend until smooth. With blender running, add olive oil in a steady stream, blending until emulsified.
Add spinach to a large salad bowl and pour dressing over; toss to coat.
Top spinach with remaining salad ingredients (tomatoes, avocados, mushrooms, shallot, bacon, and hard boiled eggs), gently toss to combine. Serve.
For the dressing:
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the salad
- 12 ounces baby spinach
- 2 tomatoes cut into wedges
- 2 avocados cubed
- 8 ounces mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1 medium shallot or ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 strips bacon cooked until crisp and coarsely chopped
- 3 hard boiled eggs cut into wedges
- To make the salad dressing, add garlic, honey, vinegar, pepper, and salt to a blender pitcher; blend until smooth. With blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add spinach to a large bowl (large enough to toss salad with dressing. Drizzle dressing over spinach and toss to coat. Add remaining ingredients (tomatoes through hard boiled eggs) and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately.