Oddly enough, at our studio we’ve been knee deep in the Autumn season since July and we’re still not finished yet. Because of so many client shoots this Summer that are Fall and Halloween focused, we started this season earlier than we really wanted to. It got to the point where we were calling every distributor and contact we had looking for a fresh pumpkin. And guess what? None could be found, so we did our best to create the chilly Fall feel in the images while it was 90 degrees F outside.
Beyond all the Fall foods we’ve been eating, salads still are a key staple that we crave at the end of the day. Trays of gorgeous pumpkin desserts, pies, sweets and holiday baked foods are nice for tastes and tidbits, but for a satisfying end-of-the-day meal, we’re diving head first into a salad bowl. Then of course, followed by a refreshing and inebriating cocktail to officially call it a “wrap”.
Salads can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. If we’re ambitious we’ll create a salad that takes a bit more time in the kitchen and thoughtful preparation to make it look pretty. But regardless of all the fancy schmancy salads we aspire to make, we always turn to our beloved spinach bacon salad. It is another one of those garden inspired recipes we love so much we included it in our cookbook, Bountiful. We’ve taken a classic spinach bacon salad and added our personal twist of a special avocado vinaigrette that rocks on any greens that you want to pair it with. Fresh, tender spinach, avocado and bacon tossed together in a bowl is a marriage of some of our favorite ingredients.
We first started to grow spinach by tossing a few seeds in a wine barrel and that was used as a planter. Within a few weeks, we had the most incredible spinach greens. Now we’re addicted and eagerly await the first spinach crop of every season.
This fantastic avocado vinaigrette can be as chunky or as creamy as you like. Make it special. Make it your own. You’ll love the flavors regardless of the texture that you choose. We often prefer some nice chunks of avocado where the cubes are slightly tumbled, perfectly ugly but oh-so soft and flavorful to bite into. Even the bacon can be made special by adding a ton of it, or just a little less so that you can still feel less guilt but satisfied at the same time.
We’ll be making salad again this week for a team lunch and guaranteed, we’ll be making a double batch of the vinaigrette and maybe a few extra pieces of bacon because we deserve it. Ha!
diane and todd
Spinach Bacon Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette
Yield: Serves 3-4
Total Time: 20 minutes
Tender spinach, bacon, and avocado are a perfect medley in this salad. Don't forget to cook extra bacon for snacking on while you make the salad. This recipe is from our cookbook, Bountiful.
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil or neutral-flavor oil such as grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
FOR THE SALAD
- 1 bunch fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup (23g) almonds, sliced and toasted
- 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
- 1 medium tomato, chopped (optional)
- Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl or Mason jar, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients (except for the avocado) until well combined. Mix the avocado into the vinaigrette. You can keep the avocado diced or mash it into the dressing for a creamy texture.
- Make the salad: Place the spinach in a large salad bowl.
- Add the vinaigrette to the spinach and toss well. Then gently mix in the bacon, almonds, avocado, and tomato (if using) right before serving.