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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129 Responses to “Warm Strawberry Bacon Orzo Salad.”

  1. #
    101
    Jessica @ Delicious-DC — April 21, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    I tried this recipe and it was awesome! I used wheat berries, turkey bacon (for non-pork eating friends) and feta. Yum Yum. See my version here :)

    http://delicious-dc.blogspot.com/2011/04/strawberry-spinach-wheat-berry-salad.html

    Reply

  2. #
    102
    Kalyn — April 29, 2011 @ 12:22 am

    I’m not one to repeat a recipe– I usually get bored, and I also have 3,489,300 recipes bookmarked on my computer from various blogs– but I have to tell you, I’ve made this “salad” four times now. I’m obsessed. It’s delicious both warm & straight from the fridge! Gotta love any salad with bacon & goat cheese, Mmmm!

    Reply

  3. #
    103
    Sadhbh — April 30, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    Jesus. Christ.
    I think that is the sexiest-looking salad I’ve ever seen. My mind is actually boggling at the thoughts of this.

    Reply

  4. #
    104
    jeannette — May 6, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

    i looked in my fridge and pantry and have spinach, orzo and strawberries and remembered that i saw something along those lines here.

    now don’t shun me, but i’m not a big fan of bacon (period) or nuts in my salad. my cheese palate is pretty minimal… but i think i can make the basis of this work. if i come out with anything palatable, i’ll post and share the link of my simplified version with you :)

    Reply

  5. #
    105
    Elysha — July 29, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

    I know this is an old post, but I was perusing the recipes and came across this. Oh. My. Gah. I just got fresh basil today, which I think is a good enough reason to hunt up the rest of the ingredients to make this.

    I also have to admit that every time I see the word “orzo”, my brain thinks “ouzo”, and they are totally not the same thing. But that’s why I clicked on the post, ’cause I thought you were putting alcohol in salad!

    Reply

  6. #
    106
    Nicole S — September 29, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    Made this dish this past weekend. AHHHHHH-MAZZZZING!!!! And, totally man-friendly :)
    The beau and I loved it, thanks for another great recipe! I totally ‘trust’ your recipes and don’t even do test runs before I make them for someone or for events. We live on the edge here (also in Pittsburgh!)

    Reply

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