Traditional recipes

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing


  • 1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach leaves
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, halved, cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges with some core attached
  • 1 7-ounce package feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar

Recipe Preparation

  • Place spinach in large bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add onion; sauté until brown and softened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with spinach; remove skillet from heat. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil and cheese to skillet. Stir to melt cheese slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over spinach; toss to coat and wilt slightly.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,Reviews Section

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with 1 quart ice water. Transfer eggs to ice water with slotted spoon let stand 5 minutes, then peel eggs, quarter them lengthwise, and set aside.

Place spinach in large bowl. Stir vinegar, sugar, pepper, and salt together in small bowl until sugar dissolves set aside.

Fry bacon in medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Pour bacon fat into heatproof bowl, then return 3 tablespoons bacon fat to skillet. Add onion to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes stir in garlic until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

Add vinegar mixture, then remove skillet from heat working quickly, scrape bottom of skillet with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits.

Pour hot dressing over spinach, add bacon, and toss gently with tongs until spinach is slightly wilted.

Divide among individual plates, arrange egg quarters over each, and serve.

Chef's Note: When adding the vinegar mixture to the skillet, step back from the stovetop--the aroma is quite potent.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette is a fabulous recipe that will make spinach lovers out of those spinach haters! This is an easy-to-make salad with just a few ingredients that makes for a satisfying dish. This salad that doubles as comfort food and impresses your family and friends at the same time. I am trying to infuse more dark greens into my diet and choosing this spinach salad is a great way to incorporate them.

  • 6 cups (5-ounces) fresh spinach leaves, washed, dried, and chilled*
  • 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra-virgin
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt or sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar (good quality)
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled (optional)

Remove stems and veins from spinach (either discard or save for adding to your homemade soups). Tear spinach into bite-sized pieces place spinach in a large bowl.

In a small frying pan over medium heat, fry bacon approximately 5 minutes or until crisp transfer the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate set aside. Leaving approximately 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan.

When bacon has cooled, crumble it into small pieces and then set aside.

Return frying pan to medium heat add olive oil, onion, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened. Add balsamic vinegar swirl to incorporate. Remove from heat.

Pour warm dressing over prepared spinach and toss gently to wilt (when properly wilted, the leaf edges soften slightly, but the spinach retains some crunch). To avoid overly wilted spinach, we used a mere 1/4 cup of dressing for 6 cups of greens in our spinach salad recipe.

Sprinkle the crumbled bacon and blue cheese over the top of the spinach and serve immediately.

* I like to use the fresh baby spinach leaves.

Source: I slightly adapted this wilted spinach salad recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, March and April, 2002.


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My Spinach Salad

Cook eggs: cover with water, bring to a boil, then turn off heat and allow to sit in water for 20 minutes. Drain off water and add ice on top of eggs.

Fry bacon until crispy/chewy. Remove to a paper towel.

Remove 3 tablespoons grease and set aside.

Add 2 add'l tablespoons of grease to a separate skillet over medium heat.

Slice red onions very thinly, then add to skillet. Cook slowly until onions are caramelized and reduced. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Slice mushrooms and add them to the same skillet. Cook slowly until caramelized and brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Make hot bacon dressing: Add 3 tablespoons bacon grease, vinegar, sugar, and Dijon to a small saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk mixture together and heat thoroughly.

Add spinach to a large bowl. Arrange onions, mushrooms, and bacon on top. Pour hot dressing over the top toss to combine.
Arrange eggs over the top and serve.

This spinach salad is set apart from the typical spinach salad in two important ways: The red onions, which are usually sliced thin and added to the salad raw, are cooked until brown and tossed with the spinach. And the mushrooms, which are also usually sliced and added to the salad raw, are&hellipcooked until brown and tossed with the spinach. Crumbled bacon comes next, followed by a drizzle of hot bacon dressing. Then finally, the salad is topped with sliced hard boiled eggs. So you have the cold spinach tossed with warm onions, mushrooms, and bacon, tossed with hot bacon dressing, and topped with cold, sliced eggs.

It just doesn&rsquot get any better than that.

We go way back, this salad and me, and we&rsquove had a long, long time to get acquainted. And we know each other well.

We&rsquore going to need some hard boiled eggs&mdashthree of them. So put three eggs into a smallish saucepan&hellip

Cover the eggs with water.

Then turn off the heat and allow the eggs to sit in the water while you fix the other ingredients. Don&rsquot be disturbed by the floaties in the water&mdashthey&rsquore mineral deposits and egg residue, so there.

Next, fry seven slices of thick-cut bacon. I like to cut the pieces in half before frying&mdashthey cook more evenly that way.


Salads are a favorite at my house especially during the summer months. This Bacon and Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad is one of our favorites. If it has bacon, I like it! This salad is very versatile and you can make it your own by adding other fruits, nuts, etc. You may also love this seven layer salad.


Bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

Purple onion, cut up or chopped


This is a very refreshing salad and wonderful side dish to any meal. The dressing really does take this salad to the next level and you could easily add almonds or pecans in place of the sesame seeds. Pineapple combined with the oranges would be a great addition too. Very versatile salad.

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Spinach in the A.M.

Three types of fresh spinach are widely available: Savoy, flat-leaf, and baby. Nutritionally speaking they are on equal terms, so choose whichever variety you prefer for texture, taste, and convenience.

Savoy spinach, better known as curly spinach or curly-leaf spinach, has large, dark green leaves and a surface that&aposs full of deep crevices, creating a crinkly, "curly" look. Because the texture is so uneven, take extra care to rinse the leaves to ensure they&aposre grit-free.
Recipe to try: Joe&aposs Special

Smooth-leaf spinach, also sold as flat-leaf spinach, is much easier to clean than Savoy, thanks to its characteristic broad, unwrinkled leaves. It&aposs also less tannic-tasting than its curly counterpart.
Recipe to try: Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing

Baby spinach, as its name implies, is spinach that&aposs harvested before maturation. Therefore, the leaves are not just smaller but also more tender and delicate than full-size spinach.
Recipe to try: Scrambled Eggs with Spinach & Parmesan

Cooking spinach will drastically reduce its volume. You can expect 10 ounces of baby spinach to yield 4 raw side salads cooked, the same 10 ounces of baby spinach will yield 2 to 3 servings. Note that curly spinach won&apost cook down as much.

Washing spinach is easy. Be sure to trim the stems of larger flat-leaf or curly types. Gently agitate the leaves with your hands in a large bowl of cold water, letting the grit sink to the bottom. Lift out the greens and change the water as needed, repeating until the water remains clear. Use a salad spinner to dry the spinach before you prep or store it.

If you&aposre not using the spinach right away, wrap the leaves in paper towels before placing them in plastic bags with holes poked through, or use your salad spinner as storage. The leaves should keep for up to three days.

Spinach stays nutrient-dense when it&aposs steamed, quickly boiled, or speedily saut. The longer spinach is cooked, the more nutrients it loses, so be careful not to overcook it. Cooking spinach will slightly reduce its levels of folate and vitamin C, yet cooked spinach contains more vitamin A than raw spinach. Eating both raw and cooked versions, especially in peak season, will help you make the most of this leafy green&aposs many healthy properties.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing

Salads Suck! Well they don't really suck, but when put against something like a hot piece of pizza with spicy meat, crispy, thin crust, and gooey, melty cheese fresh out of a 500 degree oven and dipped in. Wait, I was talking about salad. Let's face it, we can't eat pizza everyday and getting a healthy dose of greens is one of those things I keep being told is vital to, you know, living.

I really do enjoy a good salad, but I know even healthy eaters will admit that you can really only love salad to a point, and if we are going to eat salad it has to be great. This Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing hits all the right notes with slightly wilted spinach, creamy hard-boiled eggs, almonds, bacon,and more. It is super satisfying and a quick fix for a weeknight meal. When the pizza place is calling put down the phone and pick up the spinach.

Warm salad ideas?

I hate eating cold food, but I definitely want to incorporate more salads into my daily diet. Does anyone have any go to recipes or recommendations? I do roast veggies, but I’m looking on ways to get more green leafy veggies, and more volume.

I like having a bed of leafy greens and then throwing on a load of cubed, roasted veg on top. Sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, chickpeas, a tahini dressing. Mmm.

I second this! I roast zucchini, mushrooms and chickpeas in spicy oil and throw them onto a salad of leafy greens, it's warm and filling and all round amazing

I do something similar, where on a bed of greens I add grilled or sautéed veg like bell pepper mushroom carrot cabbage etc and also cooked ground beef with my choice of sauce incorporated in the beef.

Wilted lettuce or wilted spinach salad. Best with leafy greens fresh out of the garden. You need a lot of greens for this as they wilt down a LOT.

Cook bacon, set aside. Saute chopped onions and celery in the bacon grease. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons vinegar and sugar. Mix a tablespoon of corn starch with cold water and add to mix. Crumble bacon and put in dressing. Add water to thin if it is too thick. Pour hot dressing over greens. Add croutons. Sometimes I add chopped hard boiled eggs.

I don't have a recipe, I just ballpark measurements depending on how many greens I have. This dressing is also what I use for warm german potato salad, another one of my favorites.

This doesn't directly answer your question, but I like to sautee leafy greens and mix that into foods or eat it as a side. A giant bunch of collard greens will cook down a relatively small amount and then I'll mix it into soup, or fried rice, or mashed potatoes, etc.

I am a HUGE fan of a warm salad with greens and quinoa. Essentially I cook up 2 cups of quinoa, then I finely chop 4-5 bunches of greens (kale, collards, chard, spinach, etc.) and I saute them with olive oil, salt, and pepper until they are warm and soft. Sometimes I add grated carrot, parsnip, or beetroot. I mix it with the cooked quinoa and either pesto sauce or balsamic vinaigrette for dressing. This volume of food makes 4-5 servings, and it keeps in the fridge for about a week and I reheat in the microwave.

To keep the cost down, I buy quinoa and pesto from a discount grocer and I use whichever greens have the best sale price or what I can find on Misfits Market. Average cost is about $2.20 per serving.

Try making some veg korma.

"Rice" the following (I food process into small chunks, you can also use a grater, I think it takes too long):

1 Zucchini
1/2 head of broccoli (including stems)
1/2 fennel bulb
1/2 bunch asparagus

(The basic idea is a pretty equal blend of all 4 veggies for about 3 cups bulk total)

Lightly coat in oil, brown on medium high in a pan (or wok), remove from heat and cover, rest until softened. To serve top with parmesan cheese, dressing of your choice, and strawberries or radishes depending on your flavor preference.

Thin crust pizza
Frozen Peas
Kalamata Olives
Artichoke hearts
Spring greens/Spinach
Mozzerella/Parmesan cheese

Put a flat pan or pizza stone in the oven. Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees F (246C). Roast peas, artichoke hearts, asparagus, and chard (crisp but not completely cooked through). Prep crust with either pesto or tomato sauce, kalamata olives, and cheese. Decorate pizza with roasted veggies. Transfer pizza to oven on the pre-heated pizza stone or sheet pan (Helps get a crispy bottom). Cook 15 minutes or until doneness of preference for the dough. Top each slice with some spring greens.

This one is three ingredients - bacon, lots of kale, feta cheese. Roughly chop kale, massage well with olive oil, it will look dark green. Wilt slightly in a pan. Remove from heat, top with bacon and feta cheese. Kale should be the main hero of the dish still though. Tomatoes can be added.

I have just recently started getting the single serving plan greek yogurts and adding that to a bowl of tomatoes, olive, mixed greens, spinach and cucumber, or mixed greens, bacon, avocado, tomatoes. The greek yogurt basically acts as a salad dressing, but with protein.

ATK Recipe #41 and 42: Corn Fritter & Wilted Spinach Salad with Feta and Olives

And I’m finally caught up to recipes I’ve made this month. I put these two recipes together for dinner one night when I was looking for things I could make cheaply. I also know I need to get going with the salad section or I’ll be eating salad for a couple months running.

The corn fritters are made by slicing fresh corn off the cob and then grating the cob to get all the corn juice out of it. The corn is mixed with egg, flour, corn meal, heavy cream, 1 shallot, salt and pepper. Except I didn’t have heavy cream and had to use 2% milk instead. At only 2 tablespoons, I couldn’t imagine it made a huge difference. So, at this point the recipe refers to your mixture as “batter,” but what I had didn’t resemble my idea of batter. It looked like a big bowl of corn tossed with a few tablespoons of corn meal and milk. But, ok, I’m not the cookbook writer. Maybe just don’t know jack about corn fritters. So I heat the oil in the pan to fry my fritters and start trying to fry them. The picture next to the recipe shows a stack of gorgeous golden corn pancakes, but my spoons of corn “batter” are just becoming individual kernels of fried corn. So I decide something is horribly wrong and scoop all my corn bits out of the hot oil.

I threw another egg, some more milk and a bunch more corn meal into the bowl of corn until it starts to look more like a batter. Once I started frying the improved batter, it was obvious this was more what it was supposed to be like. This time I got little flat cakes of corn. They still fell apart a bit in handling, but I tasted as I went and they tasted great. I’m honestly a bit shocked that this recipe was so wildly off. I rechecked the amounts several times to make sure the mistake wasn’t mine. Maybe it was a typo. Surely my ears of corn weren’t abnormally larger than most?

Of course I couldn’t just serve fried corn for dinner, much as I may have wanted to. So I looked for something with some green veggies to balance the fried food. We love spinach, feta, and olives, so this recipe sounded unbeatable. To my knowledge I’ve never had a “wilted” salad and it’s not a very appetizing descriptor. What that means is that you cook the onion and garlic in a pan, add the rest of the dressing ingredients and warm them. (In this case those were olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.) Then you pour the warm dressing on the cool spinach right before serving, which just barely wilts the spinach to make it tender. The chopped kalamata olives and feta are spinkled on top. The finished product was something like a Greek salad, except with nutritious spinach. I was surprised the salad wasn’t warm but just room temperature.