Springtime Spinach Salad

With more summer-like temperatures promised for this weekend, it looks like we have finally seen the last of winter.  In celebration of the end of hibernation, we offer up this delicious springtime recipe.  The classic triumvirate of spinach, bacon and avocado go well together anytime, but they are especially good when set off with Gallic flair by a warm Dijon vinaigrette.

¼ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ pound fresh spinach, stemmed, rinsed, and patted dry
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
8 thick slices lean streaky bacon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped


1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and mustard and whisk till well blended. Add the sugar, garlic, and salt and pepper, stir well, and set aside.

2. In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, avocado, and onion and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over moderate heat till crisp, drain on paper towels, and crumble coarsely.

4. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of grease from the skillet, add the oil plus the vinegar-mustard mixture, and stir till the dressing is hot. Pour the dressing over the spinach mixture and toss well. Add the bacon and eggs, toss well again, and taste for seasoning. Serve the salad immediately on wide salad plates.