I can just about guarantee we’re not going to be gifted with an Indian Summer this year; I can smell fall in the air already. The trees have begun to turn colours here and there, and while we had a *SURPRISE* hot couple of days finally, in the evening the temperatures are chilly. School starts next week, and apple season in Ontario begins right shortly.
Apples are a staple at my house. I’m more of a citrus gal, myself, but my family are hardcore apple fans. Every year we’ll plow through a giant pile of apples. I’ll make apple butter, apple sauce, slice and freeze them for pies, spend weeks dehydrating apple rings for snacks and homemade instant apple-cinnamon oatmeal. And then of course, we’ll consume a second giant pile fresh.
Preferably when they’re straight from the orchard.
One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned as a food blogger is how bacon’s popularity with just about everybody is second only to its versatility. I have paired bacon with some amazing stuff including chocolate, vodka, coffee, and maple syrup. Yes, bacon goes awesome with sweet stuff. Who knew?
Apples and maple syrup? Bacon got ‘dis.
Bacon contains the magic of what the Japanese call umami: the taste of savory. It’s that mouth-watering, rich meaty flavour that stimulates the back of the throat and mouth that makes everybody crazy for more.
Who says you have to serve a boring, store-bought Greek or garden salad at your end-of-season BBQs? This fast-prep, lovely little spinach side-salad is topped with crisp tart apples, bacon, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. It’s dressed with a bold sweet-tart apple cider vinegar and maple syrup vinaigrette. It’s a whisper of fall, the fun of summer, and a flavour roundhouse kick to the face.
Best of all, it comes together in under 15 minutes.
Apple Bacon Spinach Salad
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 small red onion
- 5-6 mushrooms sliced
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 crisp apples halved, cored, and thinly sliced
- 8 cups washed and torn spinach leaves
In a medium sized frying pan, cook the bacon until it reaches desired doneness. Remove and drain.
Add onion and mushrooms to the bacon drippings, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
While onions are cooking, chop the bacon and set aside, and slice apple.
Once onion is done cooking, add the bacon back to the pan, add the maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Boil it for 1 minute, and remove from heat to cool slightly.
Plate the spinach and apple individually and spoon warm dressing over plates, or serve in a salad bowl, tossed with the dressing. Serve immediately.