You Need a Kickass Salad to Power Up a Simple Menu

April 28, 2009 by

You're having a small dinner party with both men and women.

You've made the decision to go simple with the main course: grilled steaks paired with a simple garlic mash and roasted asparagus.

But as you look over your menu, you decide you want to start the dinner with a bang.  

Something memorable.

You want to serve something that is manly ... perhaps even bold ... for the men.  

(So yes, it needs to have bacon.)

Yet something that is also interesting and complex enough to be featured on a high-end steak house menu.  (Read: some kind of dried fruit and good cheese.)

I was inspired to create this recipe from a New Orleans flavored restaurant in Austin, Texas called Gumbo's.  My husband absolutely loved this salad, so I set out to recreate it in its entirety.

For the men this salad recipe features a warm, bacon dressing. 

And for the ladies, the complementary flavors of blue cheese and dried figs.

What I personally love about this final recipe is that the dressing doesn't contain the 2 cups of sugar, like most of the recipes I found during my research.  And if you don't like any of the ingredients I recommend for the salad, simply substitute them with your own personal preferences. 

This dressing is so good, you could eat it on plain spinach and still be blown away.

So when you make the decision to serve up steak for your guests, go ahead and pick out the good cuts of meat. You have the perfect recipe to set the stage.

Until our next meal,


Warm Bacon Dressing


Spinach Salad With Warm Bacon Dressing

Spinach Salad With Warm Bacon Dressing

  • 6 Pieces of Bacon
  • 3 Tsp Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Water


  1. Cut the bacon into small pieces, and cook in a medium-sized frying pan until cooked through. 
  2. Drain off fat, and set bacon aside.  (An alternative is to cook the bacon in the microwave, and then cut into small pieces before continuing on with recipe.)
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, white wine vinegar and honey. 
  4. Place the cornstarch in a medium bowl, and then slowly add the water, vinegar and honey combination while whisking the entire time.
  5. Once cornstarch is blended, add the liquid to the frying pan with the bacon, and cook over medium-low heat until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly (about 2 minutes).
  6. Spoon onto each of the individual salads.  It's rich, so a little goes a long way!
  • Prep/Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Serves: 4

 Recommended Salad Ingredients:

  • Spinach or Baby Greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Blue Cheese
  • Diced Dried Figs
  • Candied Pecans

 Have you tried this recipe?  Or do you have any questions for me?

I invite you to leave a comment below!