Spinach and Arugula Salad with Bacon and Sautéed Mushrooms

4

For the Salad

2 large eggs

4 slices bacon

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

4 cups spinach, stems removed

4 cups baby arugula

½ cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped

½ cup pickled red onions


For the Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon real maple syrup, ideally Grade B/Grade A: Dark Color and Robust Flavor

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ tablespoon fresh thyme


For the Pickled Red Onions

1 medium red onion, halved crosswise and very thinly sliced pole-to-pole

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup water

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 small bay leaf

For the Salad

To hard boil eggs, place 2 eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to maintain the water at a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain water, and immediately run cold water over eggs to cool. Replace with fresh cold water and set eggs aside to cool for 10 minutes.  Once cool, peel, slice in half, and set aside.


Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning frequently, just until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat. 


Return the skillet to the stove and increase the heat to medium. Sauté the mushrooms in the bacon fat, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden brown. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate to cool for a few minutes.


Combine the spinach and arugula in a large serving bowl. Pour about half of the dressing over the salad, toss, and add more dressing if needed. There will likely be leftover dressing. Crumble the cooled bacon over the greens. Scatter the eggs, mushrooms, pecans, and pickled red onions over the greens. Serve immediately.


For the Vinaigrette

Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and golden brown. Transfer to a mini food processor or blender. Add the balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. Blend until shallots are broken down. Add the fresh thyme and pulse for 1 second to incorporate the thyme throughout the dressing. Set aside.


For the Pickled Red Onions

Place the onions in a medium-size, non-reactive bowl and set aside.


Combine the remaining ingredients in a small non-reactive saucepan and set over high heat. Stir and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the onions. Press down on the onions so they are almost submerged in the liquid.


Set aside to cool and marinate for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the onions may be used or transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for up to several weeks. The sharp bite of the onion lessens over time. Remove the bay leaf just before using the onions.

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