The perfect salad for entertaining all winter long, and no one can ever refuse the warm bacon dressing!
6 cups washed baby spinach, 6 ounces
8 mandarin oranges, peeled and thinly sliced or diced, 1 pound
1 cup pomegranate arils, see notes
3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
Warm Bacon Dressing:
4 slices bacon, 4 ounces, see notes
1/2 Teaspoon Italian seasoning, with no additives, salt, or sugar
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Optional: crumbled gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese, I add 1/2 cup crumbled cheese of choice when I add cheese to this salad, (omit for Whole30, paleo, and dairy free).
Place all the ingredients for the salad into a large serving bowl.
Cut the bacon strips in half lengthwise, then thinly slice them crosswise into bacon bit sized pieces, 1/4″.
Heat a cast iron skillet, (I used a 9″) over medium heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add the bacon to the pan and sauté until browned and the fat has rendered, about 3-5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, sea salt to taste, black pepper, and olive oil. Whisk to completely combine and then pour the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
For a nice presentation, you can keep back some of the mandarin oranges and pomegranate arils to sprinkle over the top.
I have a great method for removing pomegranate arils from their shells that’s so much easier than anything else I’ve ever tried over on Pomegranates 101!
Make sure your bacon doesn’t have any additives or sugar to keep this recipe Whole30.
Keywords: Salad, Whole30, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Bacon