I don’t think I ever had eaten a mango-and- spinach combo before, but the mix of fruit and spinach seems to be a resilient pairing (spinach/strawberry and spinach/orange salads are popular). The dressing of lime juice, honey, and red-wine vinegar combined with drippings from the bacon and the sautéed red onion was a charmer. The sprinkling of Mexican cheese made a perfect topping. The Southern Living recipe suggested that this would be a great partner for grilled fish and fresh, crusty bread. Hubby and I dined on it solo as a main-dish dinner salad (along with a few bites of warmed-up pasta left over from a lunch out.)
This is a very special salad that will get sent to my idea-list for my next bring-a-dish to attend. I can’t imagine guests not going nuts over it. Now the question is: will I prepare the final recipe on the “Southern Sizzle” page: Springtime Pasta with Bacon? Time will tell.
Mango-Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
4 thick bacon slices, diced (I used turkey bacon)
1/2 medium-sized red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 (9-ounce) package fresh spinach
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/3 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese
salt (or salt substitute) and pepper to taste
In a skillet cook bacon over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Sauté onion in hot drippings for 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is soft. To the skillet add vinegar, lime juice, and honey; cook 2 minutes. Stir to loosen particles from bottom of skillet; stir them into the dressing. Place spinach in a serving bowl. Add warm vinaigrette and toss to coat. Top with mango, cheese, and bacon; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately while dressing is warm. Makes about 2 1/2 cups salad.