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Spinach, Mushroom, and Fennel Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Serves 8

Total Time
45 mins

"Every hippie menu in the '70s had a spinach and mushroom salad," chef Mark Peel says about this recipe, inspired by a restaurant from his college days in Isla Vista, California. Cut it in half for a smaller group.

Spinach, Mushroom, and Fennel Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto
 3 qts. (7 to 8 oz.) lightly packed baby spinach
 3 large eggs, hard-cooked and cut into wedges
 5 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
 5 ounces good-quality thick-cut bacon
 2 tablespoons canola oil
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 1 large head fennel (about 4 in. wide), trimmed and thinly sliced
 2 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
 1 1/2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
 2 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  About 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  About 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Step 1

Combine spinach, eggs, and mushrooms in a large shallow serving bowl.

Step 2

Cut bacon on the diagonal into strips about 1/4 in. thick and 1 1/2 in. long. Cook bacon with 1/3 cup water in a large frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until water disappears, 8 to 12 minutes. Add oils and cook until bacon is light golden but still supple, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Step 3

Add fennel to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to more paper towels.

Step 4

Stir shallot and thyme into fat in pan and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in vinegar to deglaze pan. Whisk in mustard, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, and 2 tsp. water.

Step 5

Add bacon and fennel to salad, scrape dressing on top, and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Step 6

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Serves 8

Amount Per Serving
Calories 201Calories from Fat 75
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g27%

Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 92mg31%
Sodium 380mg16%
Total Carbohydrate 6.9g3%

Dietary Fiber 2.3g10%
Protein 5.9g12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.