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Spinach and Bacon Salad with Caesar Dressing

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.
Laurent Tourondel and Michele Scicolone

Prep 40 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 1 hr 15 mins
Entrees
American
6 servings
836 kcal

Ingredients 

For the soft-boiled eggs

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

For the croutons

  • 1/2 loaf country bread crusts removed (about 12 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the caesar dressing

  • 6 salted anchovy fillets rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

For the salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby spinach washed, trimmed, and well-dried
  • 1 medium head radicchio washed, trimmed, and well dried
  • 10 slices (about 1/2 pound) cooked double-smoked bacon crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) crumbled blue cheese such as Point Reyes Original Blue

Directions 

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.