Spinach and Bacon Salad with Caesar Dressing
A riff on the classic Caesar salad, this recipe calls for spinach, radicchio, and bacon. Croutons seasoned with cheese and garlic add crunch and flavor.
Cook the soft-boiled eggs
cook the soft-boiled eggs
Place the eggs in a medium saucepan with salted water to cover. Add the vinegar. (Adding vinegar to the water as the eggs cook helps the egg whites to set better.) Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 4 minutes.
Remove 2 of the eggs and cool them in a bowl of ice water. They will be lightly cooked. These are for the dressing.
Cook the remaining 2 eggs 8 minutes longer, or until they are hard cooked. Drain and cool to room temperature under running water. Peel the hard-cooked eggs and separate the yolks and the whites. Pass the whites and yolks separately through a sieve.
Make the croutons
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. You should have about 2 cups.
Toss the bread with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, olive oil, paprika, garlic, and salt and pepper. Spread the bread cubes in a large pan. Bake, stirring once or twice, 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool.
Make the Caesar dressing
Crack the soft-cooked eggs and scoop them into a food processor or blender. Add the anchovies, mustard, and garlic. Process or blend until smooth. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Blend in the cheese and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. You should have about 2 cups dressing.
Make the salad
Toss the spinach and radicchio with enough dressing to evenly coat the leaves.
Divide the salad among 6 plates. Scatter the croutons and crumbled bacon on top. Sprinkle with the cheese and the sieved eggs.