Spring Spinach Salad with Crispy Bacon and Wildflower Honey Vinaigrette.
This recipe comes from my friend John Helleberg –he and his wife Marcy recently opened their restaurant named after their one year old daughter Sophie. John has cooked in many notable venues in Virginia, Telluride Colorado, and Oregon.
Like many chefs he is dedicated to using locally raised, foraged, or grown food in his restaurant. But he takes this idea on step further – he and his wife grow much of the produce featured on his ever changing menu on his property in Hood River. In the summer months freshly gathered greens, tomatoes, squashes, and herbs are utilized in his food.
A great example of this is their terrific Spinach Salad
1 lb freshly washed Spinach – get the best stuff you can…
2 strips good smoky bacon
1 small shallot ~ 1 tsp
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Oregon Growers Wildflower Honey
1/3 cup Good Balsamic
Cooked egg yolk
Salt and Pepper
For the vinaigrette cut bacon into small pieces and render till crisp – remove bacon and reserve. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat – discard the remainder. Finely mince shallot and add to a medium mixing bowl. Add Wildflower Honey, vinegar, and bacon fat. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a thin stream – season with salt and pepper and set aside. In a large serving bowl add spinach leaves and toss with just enough vinaigrette to coat leaves – season with salt and pepper. To garnish sprinkle with crispy bacon, thinly sliced radishes and chopped egg yolks.
John and Marcy can be found Tuesday – Sunday at Sophie’s Restaurant in Hood River.