Wonderful fresh spinach salad with bacon and a homemade dressing that is a simple compliment to almost any fare. A summer classic but great any time of the year, and it comes together so fast.
Introduction and My Rating
This is a wonderful salad and deserves much more attention. So I have rewritten the post and re-edited the photos.
This version has a lot going for it; there is bacon, an easy homemade vinaigrette dressing, eggs, and touch of China with bean sprouts and water chestnuts. So good.
Please enjoy one of our summer favorites. Remember, anything with bacon is wonderful. My wife has made this salad for special summer meals for over 40 years. I haven't changed a thing.
This was a rescue mission. You are looking at the only copy of a long time family favorite.
So, how to pick out the best fresh spinach?
- You want dark green leaves with crisp texture and aroma.
- You prefer young baby spinach that will have thin stems.
- Buy freshly picked if possible but avoid bunches with wilted, slimy, or discolored leaves.
- If you are buying bagged, look at the buy by date and look at it the best you can.
- Don’t overbuy. While you can store it for up to 10 days, it is better consumed in 3-4 days.
Storage of Fresh Spinach
Wash only the spinach you are using now. Moisture is the enemy of freshness. So store well sealed, dry, and cold for up to 10 days in the crisper drawer wrapped in paper towels.
The dressing for the spinach salad is a tasty vinaigrette. It uses Worcestershire sauce and ketchup for an extra special flavor that will make this one of your favorite things.
A vinaigrette is usually a combination of oil and vinegar. A common ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, and this dressing approximates that.
The vinegar part is usually something like apple cider, balsamic, red wine, or similar versions. Other acids like lemon juice, are also commonly present. The tomato in the ketchup adds a bit of acid here also.
You can toss the salad with the dressing if you are going to serve the whole amount, but it is better to store without the dressing added.
The canned water chestnuts and bean sprouts need to be drained well before adding to the salad. They are the main limiting factor in making this a smaller recipe. Partial cans could be frozen, but the quality may not be that good, so I would throw away the extra if cutting the recipe down.
This is a salad, so there are no rules really, but some common things people add to simular recipes are sliced apples, soft cheeses like feta, nuts, or dried fruit like cherries. Proteins like chicken or shrimp can also be used. So go with your taste, but I suggest trying our combination first.
📖Favorite Summer Recipes
Cut bacon into small to medium pieces and fry until crisp and then drain on paper towels—slice four hard-boiled eggs. Clean and wash your spinach.
Combine all non-dressing ingredients and toss well.
Combine all dressing components and mix well. This is a gravy shaker, but a blender or even a whisk will do.
Serve with dressing on the side.
Fresh Spinach Salad
- 1 lb spinach - cleaned
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 14 oz bean sprouts - drained
- 8 oz sliced water chestnuts - drained
- 1 medium chopped red onion - optional
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms - optional
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons red vinegar - or other vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cut bacon into small to medium pieces and fry until crisp and then drain on paper towels.
- Slice four hard-boiled eggs. Clean and wash your spinach.
- Combine all non-dressing ingredients and toss well.
- Combine all dressing components and mix well.
- Serve with dressing on the side.
- Pick out fresh spinach with good dark color and thin stems.
- The water chestnuts and bean sprouts are the limiting factors on the size of this recipe. You can cut the size if you don't mind wasting the extra.
- Serve the dressing on the side since this salad will store better without the dressing.
- Refrigerate leftovers sealed for up to 3 days but the third day is not the best.
- The dressing has lots of taste from Worcestershire sauce and ketchup so it can tolerate using different vinegar or oil if you want.
Editor note: This is a republish of a recipe originally published on May 24, 2010. That was the first year of the blog and I basically just took a few pictures and tossed up the recipe so my kids would stop call mom for it. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.