- 2 small beets, stems trimmed and scrubbed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ pound bacon, diced
- ½ pound baby spinach leaves
- ¼ pound arugula leaves
- 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 small bermuda onion, thinly sliced
- 1 whole orange, segmented with juice reserved
- ½ cup pecans, toasted
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons reserved orange juice
- 5 whole basil leaves, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Rub beets with 1 teaspoon oil, place on small roasting pan and cover with foil. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until tender; set aside to cool.
2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat; Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, re-serve bacon fat and place sauté pan back on medium-high heat. Add asparagus to pan and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender and bright green, stirring occasionally; set aside to cool.
3. Peel and quarter cooled beets. Place arugula and spinach in a large serving bowl. Top with grilled and cooled asparagus, onion, orange segments, cheese, pecans and reserved beets; set aside.
4. Whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, reserved orange juice, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle in olive oil and reserved bacon fat, whisking to incorporate. Pour desired amount of vinaigrette over spinach salad and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings