This salad provides enough protein to be a meal in itself. We love it as a light supper in fall, after cooler days and nights have sweetened the spinach in the garden. The grated egg yolk sprinkled on top evokes the bright yellow pollen from the flowers of the mimosa tree.
• 3 large eggs
• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 cups cubed whole-grain bread
• 1/8 tsp dried thyme
• 1/4 pound slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
• 1 tbsp vinegar
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 1/4 pound small spinach leaves, washed and spun dry
• Coarse sea salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Hard-boil the eggs according to your favorite method, then set the cooked eggs aside to cool.
2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add bread cubes and sprinkle with thyme. Stirring continuously, toss to coat the cubes with butter, and brown slightly on all sides. When crisp, set them aside in a bowl to cool to room temperature. In the same skillet, fry bacon cubes over medium-high heat, stirring, until brown and crisp. Set aside to cool.
3. Peel the eggs and cut in half, and then remove yolks and reserve. Chop the whites fine and set aside in a bowl. Holding a fine grater or Microplane horizontally over another bowl, grate the yolks. Set bowl aside.
4. To make the mimosa dressing, whisk the vinegar and oil together. Place the spinach in a wide, shallow salad bowl with room for tossing. Add the dressing, salt and pepper, and then toss gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle the bacon evenly over the top of the salad, followed by the egg whites and finally the yolks.
As people help themselves to the salad, the ingredients will distribute among the spinach leaves.
More about cooking with spinach and kale: Read Fall Finery: Grow and Cook Kale and Spinach for additional cooking tips and recipes featuring these cool-weather favorites.
Barbara Damrosch creates fresh recipes using the bounty of her garden with her husband, Eliot Coleman, at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine. She is the author of The Garden Primer and, with Coleman, of The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.