At this time last year, I was knee-deep in recipe testing for my upcoming book, which meant there was no way a summer vacation was going to happen. I wasn’t all that grumpy about it; in fact, I was actually just super excited to cook every day and work through ideas that I had been holding onto for such a long time. But this year is different! My workload is considerably lighter which means I’m currently thinking about what to do, where to go and what to eat.
There have been talks about going on a road trip through the south. There are also talks about maybe going to Peru to finally lay my eyes on Machu Picchu. The possibilities are exciting. Some say that planning a vacation actually contributes more happiness than going on the vacation itself. I’m not sure I buy into that but I am having a lot of fun thinking of ideas as to where to go.
This salad is non-vacation related but it is an initial sign that summer is coming. Cherries showed up at the farmer’s markets last week and they’re beautiful this year. Bright red, perfectly sweet with a touch of tartness. I also scored this beautiful bloomsdale spinach; it’s sturdy and flavorful but of course can be substituted for plain or baby spinach. The bacon can be left out but its fat is a nice dressing base and the bacon adds a bit of crunch and saltiness to this salad. It’s a great salad for those early summer days when anticipation is high but temperatures aren’t…yet.
Cherry Spinach Salad
- 3 slices of thick-cut bacon
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Pinch of salt
- 1 bunch of bloomsdale spinach (about 3 cups)
- 1/3 cup halved cherries
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. On the baking sheet, lay the bacon slices side by side and transfer to the oven to bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is browned and crispy. Transfer to a bed of paper towels to drain. Dice up the bacon and set aside.
- Pour the bacon fat from the baking sheet into a small bowl and whisk in the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and salt.
- In a large bowl, add the spinach, cherries and walnuts. Pour the dressing atop and toss the salad until the leaves are thoroughly coated. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.