Ok, so this is a salad post, but I promise it's not too healthy. Actually probably just the right balance of healthy and delicious if you ask me, and if you read my last post, you know I am all about that balance right now.
I think it's safe to say that this is my favorite salad ever. And that is not only because it is super delicious, but also because it has such a special place in my heart. Yes, this is the salad we had at our civil wedding, but let me tell you the story of how this salad came to be our wedding salad...
When D and I first met, I was studying for the German state exam to be a lawyer there. In fact, we met only 3 weeks before I was going to sit for the exam, which, by the way, is one of the two most important exams in your legal career in Germany. So you can imagine I wasn't really at the height of my zen-ness back then - au contraire, I was essentially locked into my apartment and chained to my desk, only emerging to shop for basic necessities - basic necessities like bacon, blue cheese, apples and onions.
During the months leading up to the exam, I would throw together the quickest of lunches (delivery really isn't much of a thing in Germany...) and chow down while memorizing flashcards. Imagine meeting the boy of your dreams smack dab in the middle of that life of ponytails, sweat pants and exam anxiety, and now imagine inviting said boy of your dreams over for lunch. Yup. Panic mode - ON!
It was early November in Germany, which means it's cold and wet and gray and all you want is something unctuous and filling that warms you from the inside and takes away your anxiety. It was also a lot of me sitting on my behind without time to workout, so all I wanted was something light and healthy and non-fattening. Cue this salad. It's made with baby spinach (in Germany, I actually use Feldsalat, but the closest I can find here in the US is baby spinach) and sauteed apples and onions. For extra happiness I add blue cheese crumbles and the ultimate anxiety-killer: bacon!
Side note: D is a vegetarian, so when he came over, I made the bacon on the side for myself. He is the chillest vegetarian in the world and lets me have my bacon on the side without even flinching! (Like I said, boy of my dreams! ;) ) The rest of course is history, or in other words: salad, yada yada yada, married.
Here's the (very easy, very quick) recipe for 2-3 people:
1 box of baby spinach
1/2 apple, diced
1/2 red onion, diced (you can use shallots as well if you like)
1 handful of pancetta (I like the little cubes you can find at Trader Joe's, but you can also just buy regular bacon and cut it into smaller pieces)
1 handful of blue cheese crumbles
For the dressing:
Take a jam jar and fill about 3/4 of an inch with olive oil. Add balsamic vinegar to taste, then add about 1.5 teaspoons of dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Shake. Voila!
For the bacon lovers, fry the bacon first, then take it out of the skillet leaving the bacon fat in there. You use that to sautee the apples and onions (put the onions in first until they are starting to get shiny, then add apples and sautee for another minute to two minutes).
Add everything to the baby spinach and mix with the dressing.
I serve the salad with a slice of bread and a glass of red wine. Bon appetit!