Warm Strawberry Bacon Orzo Salad.
That’s some pretty good lookin’ bacon, don’t you think?
And those pecans up there? They are really special. Extra special, in fact. Want to know why?
They were toasted in bacon grease.
I’m a freak. A bacon loving freak. And this was amazing.
I didn’t even know what to call it. A salad? I guess it’s a form of a salad, but I don’t really like to associate the food I eat with the word “salad.” Because vegetables stink. Plain and simple. Sadly, salad won out in the end.
But I need to tell you about all the deliciousness going on here, especially since I couldn’t fit it in the title: crispy bacon, toasted pecans, sweet strawberries, sauteed spinach and garlic, whole wheat orzo, creamy goat cheese, caramelized onions and fresh basil. So much better than the boring, old salad you expected when you saw the title, right?
Yes, I just kept throwing things into the mix. Yes, the flavors were incredible together. Yes, everything was basically sauteed in bacon grease. And no, I didn’t share!
P.S. I could live off this.
Warm Strawberry Spinach Salad
1/2 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo (or any other grain)
2 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup whole pecans
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups raw spinach
4 large strawberries, sliced
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
fresh basil for garnish
salt and pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Fry until golden brown and crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Add pecans and toast for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally so they do not burn. Remove and drain on a paper towel. In the meantime, boil water for orzo and cook according to directions.
Add sliced red onion to the skillet with a sprinkle of salt and stir to coat with bacon grease. Saute until onions are soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add in garlic and spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Add in strawberries and orzo and mix to coat. Season with salt and pepper, then add in pecans and bacon. Remove from heat and stir in crumbled goat cheese. Top with fresh basil to garnish if you’d like. Serve immediately. It tastes good cold too!
The world is a better place with bacon grease. True story.