Hello lover.

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

serves 2

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.

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130 Responses to “Warm Strawberry Bacon Orzo Salad.”

  1. #
    51
    Moni'sMeals — March 31, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    what a combo! good looking salad to me!

    Reply

  2. #
    52
    Kacy — March 31, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    Looks so restaurant worthy. Seriously, I think you should go on Top Chef or something :)

    Reply

  3. #
    53
    Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls — March 31, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    Oh meeee oh my! This looks INCREDIBLE and includes all my favorite ingredients! This is perfect for a spring bbq… or for dinner this weekend :)

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Feast on the Cheap — March 31, 2011 @ 11:54 am

    Oh yeah, this one’s for me. Love this!

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    Stephanie@MyThornsHaveRoses — March 31, 2011 @ 11:55 am

    This looks something like my great grandma would have made. Please take that as a majorah compliment. She was the best cook in the world. :) This looks like a plate of heaven to me.

    Reply

  6. #
    56
    EatLiveRun — March 31, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    this is obviously healthy because of the fruit and veggie component….I heard that eating a strawberry after a piece of bacon unleashes secret powers within bacon, making it healthy.

    Just a thought! ;)

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    megan — March 31, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

    Now that’s my kind of salad too!

    Reply

  8. #
    58
    Elle — March 31, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    Um…yes, please. :) Great way to make a meat loving man eat salad!

    Reply

  9. #
    59
    francesca — March 31, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    Ahh! Happiness. Served. I want to eat this all the live-long day.

    Reply

  10. #
    60
    Steph @321delish — March 31, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

    This looks delicious! I have all of these ingredients at home right now too!

    And I agree, life is better with bacon grease:-)

    Reply

  11. #
    61
    Liz — March 31, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    Oh my gosh…this looks incredible!! I can’t wait to try this!

    Reply

  12. #
    62
    Summer — March 31, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    oh em gee. this looks freakin amazing. strawberries with pecans & bacon? strawberries with mango? such great flavor combinations!

    Reply

  13. #
    63
    kristen — March 31, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

    youre pretty amazing. i want to eat pretty much everything you make. like right now.

    Reply

  14. #
    64
    Natalia - a side of simple — March 31, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    I expect at least one recipe a week that involves bacon from you. Or at least an overly laden chocolate dessert. You never, ever let me down :)

    Reply

    • Jessica — March 31st, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

      Just wait for tomorrow. :)

      Reply

  15. #
    65
    Jenn L @ Peas & Crayons — March 31, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    what’s the phrase? love peace and bacon grease! haha!

    Reply

    • Jessica — March 31st, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

      Sounds about right to me. :)

      Reply

  16. #
    66
    Liz — March 31, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    Been such a big fan (and silent lurker) of your blog for so long-finally had to comment when I saw this salad. I immediately sent the link to my boyfriend and we both can’t wait (for me) to make it this weekend. :)

    Reply

  17. #
    67
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — March 31, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    That looks absolutely incredible!

    Reply

  18. #
    68
    Bo — March 31, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

    I so loving the idea of toasting the pecans in bacon grease. This sounds great!

    Reply

  19. #
    69
    Caelyn — March 31, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    The things you manage to pair with bacon never cease to amaze me. Somehow they all look super tasty! I could really go for some bacon right now actually…

    Reply

  20. #
    70
    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — March 31, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    That’s a unique combo! It sounds wonderful. I love orzo, it’s so creamy. Goat cheese sound so good. I would even consider gorgonzola on top! Mmmm!

    Reply

  21. #
    71
    thehealthyapron — March 31, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

    YUM! Looks delcious!! I’m going through and making a grocery lsit as I’m go through blogs! I am writing this one down for sure!

    Reply

  22. #
    72
    Blond Duck — March 31, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    Bacon and nuts! Yum!

    Reply

  23. #
    73
    Kocinera — March 31, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    As I read all the yummy components of this salad, I literally made this face: O.O

    It all sounds sooo delicious! Between the goat cheese and the pecans toasted in bacon grease, this is such a fantastic idea. Genius! :D

    Reply

  24. #
    74
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — March 31, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

    I would do anything for a bite of that salad right now! Note to self: hungry is not a good time to visit this blog. :-)

    Reply

  25. #
    75
    Jenna — March 31, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    I need to make this ASAP! Who could have thought a salad would look so good! ;)

    Reply

  26. #
    76
    Joanna@DrizzleofSunshine — March 31, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    I’m on Spring Break from work this week and the one thing I made time for in the morning was frying up some bacon. Instead of a morning workout… bacon made me happy and energetic. It’s science. Bacon is amazing!

    Reply

  27. #
    77
    Joanna@DrizzleofSunshine — March 31, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    I’m on Spring Break this week from work and I made sure I made time for one thing every morning…frying up some bacon. Instead of a morning workout, bacon made me happy and energetic. It’s science. Bacon is amazing!

    Reply

  28. #
    78
    Joanna (DrizzleofSunshine) — March 31, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

    I’m on Spring Break this week from work and I made sure I made time for one thing every morning…frying up some bacon. Instead of a morning workout, bacon made me happy and energetic. It’s science. Bacon is amazing! And you best believe I saved that grease to add a pop of flavor to any dinner!

    Reply

  29. #
    79
    jenny eats nutella from a spoon — March 31, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

    MAN that looks DIVINE!

    Reply

  30. #
    80
    Anna — March 31, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    You have some mad photography skills. Your pictures are out of this world!

    Reply

  31. #
    81
    Maranda — March 31, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    I guess if you are going to give something a name that has ‘salad’ in the title…you better start the post with a picture of some nice crispy bacon. You are my kinda lady!

    Reply

  32. #
    82
    Tracy @ Commit To Fit — March 31, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    Love the mixture of flavours, it sounds like heaven!

    Reply

  33. #
    83
    liz — March 31, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    Wow. that looks delish! How do you cook your bacon? (I’ve set my smoke alarm off twice trying to cook it ;/)

    Reply

  34. #
    84
    Stephanie @cookinfanatic — March 31, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

    salty bacon plus sweet strawberries sound soooo good. this is like a panera salad on steroids – and a million times better ;)

    Reply

  35. #
    85
    Toni — March 31, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

    OH MY GOSH!!! this looks sooooooooooooooooooo good!!!!! Im making this for dinner tomorrow!! holy!

    Reply

  36. #
    86
    Firefly — March 31, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

    Yes, bacon please and the rest of the salad LOL it looks delicious and so yummy!

    Reply

  37. #
    87
    Christine — March 31, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

    Sold! Making this next week!

    Reply

  38. #
    88
    meg @pinkgiggles — March 31, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

    Ok, this seriously looks amazing. I cant wait to try out the recipe!

    Reply

  39. #
    89
    becky — April 1, 2011 @ 1:16 am

    jessica, my mouth literally is watering! and it’s 12:15am and now i need a munchie snack!! pecans sauteed in bacon grease–now that is a first for me…wow!

    Reply

  40. #
    90
    Debi — April 1, 2011 @ 2:32 am

    You had me at bacon!! Looks amazing.

    Reply

  41. #
    91
    Katrina — April 1, 2011 @ 5:27 am

    Delish! This salad sounds awesome.

    Reply

  42. #
    92
    Maris (in Good Taste) — April 1, 2011 @ 6:23 am

    This salad looks incredibly delicious!

    Reply

  43. #
    93
    Mrs. Jen B — April 1, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    Oh my frigging God.

    That’s all I can say right now. The ingredient list wiped out all coherent thought.

    Reply

  44. #
    94
    Esther — April 2, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    makingthismakingthismakingthis.
    thankyouthankyouthankyou.

    Reply

  45. #
    95
    Robin — April 3, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

    I made this tonight with bulgur because my orzo was bad. Yum! This was delicious. I highly recommend this recipe.

    Reply

    • Jessica — April 3rd, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

      So glad you liked it Robin!

      Reply

  46. #
    96
    Amy — April 4, 2011 @ 12:00 am

    I just made this as a salad without the orzo and without the spinach. I added a little balsamic vinegar to the dressing and poured everything over a bed of lettuce. This is scrumptious.

    Reply

  47. #
    97
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — April 4, 2011 @ 8:02 am

    Definitely making this for dinner soon! My husband will love you (more than he already does)

    Reply

  48. #
    98
    Stephanie — April 4, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

    Just made this tonight (used quinoa instead of orzo though). It was delicious! Mmmm!

    Reply

  49. #
    99
    j's Kitchen — April 8, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    ~Your recipes always catch my eye on PW. I subscribed today, and am trying the recipe to take to a baby shower tomorrow.
    Thank you for sharing :}

    Reply

    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

      Thank you!

      Reply

  50. #
    100
    Stephanie — April 12, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

    I am totally in love with this. I have to admit when I saw this I craved it for about a week before I made it. Then when I made it, I was a little disappointed maybe it was the fact that I can’t eat full fledge fat bacon, I have to use turkey bacon, do you know if that could have affected it, any input would be great! I do love all that you put up, and can’t wait to try a few more.

    Reply

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