I love a good challenge. I love to try something new in the process as well. Well, that is exactly what happened when I saw a mustard contest on the Stonewall Kitchen blog. Stonewall Kitchen specializes in various jams, jellies, and mustards, as well as gift box collections and kitchen wares. They were looking for bloggers to create recipes using their mustards. After browsing their mustard varieties I decided on their Blue Cheese Herb Mustard.
The package from Stonewall Kitchen arrived at work and I started to tell my coworkers about the mustard and the recipe contest. I was asking around for their ideas and one of my coworkers suggested a potato salad. That intrigued me because I began to wonder how I could create a recipe around that idea. Would it be mayo based? Would it be vinegar based like German Potato Salad? The more I thought I about it I decided to use that term ‘potato salad’ loosely and develop a salad with potatoes. To tie the Blue Cheese Herb Mustard into the dish would use it in the dressing and use blue cheese in the salad as well. And of course I would have to add bacon so it, because what good salad doesn’t have bacon?
The salad is hearty enough to be a whole entrée. The potatoes are flavored from the bacon fat and are crunchy adding a nice element of texture to the salad. The bacon of course adds a great texture to the salad, but it also adds a nice flavor component to it as well. The combination of the bacon and blue cheese reminded me of a burger which tricks the mind into thinking this is filling meal from a salad. The warm dressing is very flavorful with the shallots and the mustard in the vinegar dressing. I didn’t add oil to the dressing because the bacon adds fat to the dish and the shallots were cooked in olive oil. The warm dressing wilts the spinach greens so this dish should be assembled right before serving.
Potato, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Spinach Salad with Warm Mustard and Shallot Dressing
- 7 oz bag of baby spinach
- 1 1/2 pounds of small potatoes (such as Trader Joes’ teeny tiny potatoes)
- 1/4 pound thick cut bacon (approximately 4 slices)
- 2 large shallots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 4 tablespoons Blue Cheese Herb Mustard
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz of crumbled blue cheese
- Rinse the baby spinach and set aside in a large bowl.
- Rinse and halve the potatoes. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender. Strain the potatoes and set aside.
- Cut bacon into small pieces and cook in a large skillet on medium-low heat until the bacon is cooked thru. Set aside on paper towels. Drain off the bacon fat reserving 2 tablespoons in the skillet.
- Turn up the heat for the skillet to medium-high and add the potatoes. Let sides of the potatoes to crisp up before stirring them. Make sure each potato is crisp before removing them from the skillet and setting aside on a plate.
- Thinly slice the shallots. Gently cook the shallots on medium-low heat in the skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once the onions are softened and golden brown, add in the wine and 2 tablespoons of mustard. Mix together until the mustard is incorporated into the wine and shallots.
- While the shallots are cooking, mix together the vinegar, garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons mustard, red pepper flake, and salt and pepper in a medium size bowl. When the shallots are done add them to the dressing in the bowl.
- It is now time to assemble the salad. Gently toss the dressing into the salad. Layer the potatoes, blue cheese, and bacon on the salad.
As part of entering this Stonewall Kitchen Mustard Contest I received a complimentary jar of mustard to use in creating a recipe.
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