My gorgeous American friend Mel is the Queen of Salads. I went to her house for lunch once and she made a salad that was so good I recreated it and we had it for dinner that night, and three nights in a row the following week.   So when Mel emailed me a recipe of another salad she thought I “might like”, I got excited and I raced off to the supermarket to get the ingredients.

It didn’t disappoint. We had this last week and Hot Hubby scoffed it. Now it must be said, while he generally hoovers back anything I put in front of him, he is, at heart, a meat and potato kind of guy.  So when he says “this salad is outstanding” I knew I had to share Mel’s recipe with you.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Thanks Mel! Got anymore?

Serves 4.

1 bag baby spinach
1/2 red onion – sliced into rings or finely chopped (depending on how you like it)*
8 button mushrooms roughly chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 med size tomatoes, roughly chopped
6-8 strips cooked streaky bacon, chopped (I used Tegal Chicken Bacon – lower in fat!)
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Optional: 1 avocado, cut into bite size pieces

Throw all of the above ingredients into a large salad bowl. Easy!

*Tip for adding red onion to salads: Chop the onion. Put in a bowl and cover with cold water for five minutes. Drain and pat dry with Handee towel. This step removes the ‘sharpness’ from the onion giving it a much more subtle flavour for salads. I picked this wee gem up from Cathy from Cathy’s Cuisine on a cooking class! Genius.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbs tomato sauce
2 tbs honey
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp celery salt

Combine all ingredients into glass jar, cover and shake until blended.  Taste test.  Does it need more honey?  More tomato sauce?  Adjust as necessary.   Heat the dressing in the microwave until just warmed (e.g. 20 seconds).  Shake, shake, shake. Shake shake, shake.  Shake your booty while you are at it!

Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving (don’t do it any sooner otherwise the spinach will wilt). Toss gently.  Eat immediately. Yum!