May 30, 2014

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette and Candied Walnuts

I have had the pleasure of dining at Pot Roast and Pinot, my new favorite foodie spot in Pensacola, twice now. Both times I have ordered their fantastic Spinach Salad, which is tossed in a delicious Hot Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette. The dressing alone is enough for me to eat every bite {and lick the plate!} but then they top it with tart apples, crunchy onions, fresh tomato, soft goat cheese, candied walnuts, and finally a perfectly poached egg. Can you say perfection on a plate

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Today I am sharing the restaurant's popular Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette recipe. I remade their recipe at home and I am proud to say it turned out great! This beautiful dish came out almost identical to the dish I received at the restaurant! When dining at Pot Roast and Pinot, we ordered this salad to share as a second course but at home I made this as our meal. Although Ashton and I are both proud members of the Clean Plate Club, this was a hearty plateful for each of us but in the end we pulled through and ate every bite {and didn't eat again for 24 hrs!}.


Makes 2 entree salads
  • 2 eggs, soft poached (read how to poach an egg here)
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced in thin rings
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 4-5 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup thick croutons
  • 1/2 cup Hot Bacon Vinaigrette (ingredients below)
Hot Bacon Vinaigrette:
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 pkg bacon (about 8 slices)
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire 
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. For the vinaigrette: bring all ingredients together in a deep saucepan to a boil.
  2. In a small bowl, make a slurry by whisking together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water and slowly whisking into vinaigrette to thicken.
  3. Serve dressing warm and keep leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.
  4. To make candied walnuts: in a skillet melt butter and mix in brown sugar.
  5. Add walnuts and cook over medium, stirring for a couple minutes until toasted and coated. Remove from heat.
  6. To plate salad: place a few handfuls of spinach on a plate (about 2 cups). Top with a sprinkling of walnuts, cheese, croutons, sliced onions, 4 wedges of tomato, and about 5 thin slices of apple on the side.
  7. Top with a poached egg in the center and drizzle on the Hot Bacon Vinaigrette. 
  8. Serve immediately. 
Recipe adapted from Pot Roast and Pinot.

I used 1 large red onion and diced half for the vinaigrette and sliced the rest for the salad.
Cook bacon until crisp, drain, then chop.
To make the vinaigrette mix all ingredients together in a saucepan until they come to a boil.
Make a slurry in a bowl with 2 tbsp cornstarch and 1//4 cup water. Whisk into vinaigrette and simmer until slightly thickened. 
Candied Walnuts are simple!
Melt butter in a skillet, add brown sugar and chopped walnuts. Stir and toast until coated, about 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat. 
Slice tomatoes and apples right before serving. 
Toss apples in lemon juice to prevent browning. 
Poach eggs and trim to a perfect circle. See my recipe for poaching eggs here
You can use goat cheese crumbles or a log of soft goat cheese. I prefer this kind so I can break off chunks for thicker pieces and a more rustic look. 
Look at this chunky, flavor packed dressing! Mouth watering yet? 
Plate your salad with a couple cups of baby spinach then top with walnuts, cheese, onions, tomatoes, apples, and a poached egg. 
Drizzle the Hot Bacon Vinaigrette on top.
Ready to serve and devour!
Warning: bad cell phone pic!
But check out this beautiful runny egg on top of this tasty salad!
You have got to try this salad {at home or at Pot Roast and Pinot} today.
It will knock your sock off and please your taste buds!

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