by Karin Calloway
I’ve always been a fan of the wilted salads made of iceberg lettuce and warm sweet and sour dressing. The retro salad was a way to dress up mundane iceberg for family dinners at my house in the 60s. Wilted spinach salads are a more elegant rendition of the classic, and my Spinach Salad with Bacon-Wrapped Scallops and Sweet Bacon Vinaigrette brings the salad into the new millennium.
The vinaigrette begins by cooking thick-cut bacon slices until they’re still pliable. The bacon is used to wrap sweet sea scallops, and some of the bacon drippings will flavor the vinaigrette. Thinly sliced red onion is sautéed in the reserved bacon drippings until wilted and slightly caramelized, making a more mellow presence than the traditional chopped red onion garnish.
The scallops are oven-seared, and are made flavorful with a hint of Teriyaki baste and glaze, a product you’ll find in the Asian ingredients section of most supermarkets. Any Asian-inspired thick soy-based glaze can be used.
The combination of the spinach tossed in the warm Sweet Bacon Vinaigrette and the sweet and salty Bacon-Wrapped Scallops make this salad company-worthy. Serve as the first course for a spring dinner party, or as a lovely spring luncheon salad.
Sweet Bacon Vinaigrette
Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Makes 6 servings.
Signs of Spring Dinner for Six
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The cuisine of Thailand, with its combinations of sweet, salty, tart and spicy flavors, is an American restaurant favorite. But supermarkets everywhere carry most of the ingredients you need to create a delicious Thai menu at home.