Sweet and tangy bacon dressing is drizzled over sweet pears, spinach, and sliced shallots. Top Wilted Pear and Shallot Salad with chopped pecans and sliced hard-boiled eggs for a hearty and delicious salad.
I don’t know about you, but we ate wilted lettuce salad quite a bit growing up. It was something easy, delicious, and almost guaranteed that us kids would eat it all. I mean….
How can anyone turn that down? The smoky dressing with the sweet and tart flavors is something that makes my mouth water. All the flavors, not just the dressing, is total comfort food to me. From the lettuce (or in this case spinach) to the dressing, the eggs, and the onion; it all rounds out and is completely delicious.
So, I’ve tried to find some history on this salad and really can’t. It’s sort of like German potato salad which is equally delicious. I made a German cauliflower salad that is irresistible! So, it does make sense that this dressing is from that German recipe. But even that doesn’t have a clear-cut history.
I’m going out on a limb and say that the rise in potato popularity along with traditional German flavors (sweet, sour, spicy mustard) is how German potato salad came about. And yes, I realize this is about a greens salad and not a potato salad, but the dressing remains mostly the same in both.
Just look at all that deliciousness on top there! The spinach is not too wilted. I made the dressing ahead of time and heated it up when I was ready to assemble and eat the salad. You can easily make the dressing ahead of time. The pears are nice and sweet with some crunch. The pecans add even more crunch and flavor. Then there’s the sautéed shallots in the dressing and the crisp, spicy raw ones on top. Finally, there’s the creamy eggs that are almost a requirement in this salad.
I may have gone a little overboard with the toppings, but how can you resist? They’re all so scrumptious combined together on top of crisp baby spinach. And this plate isn’t that big. It’s a traditional salad plate size of about 7 inches. But you can see how this salad can easily be hearty enough for a dinner salad.
I simmered the dressing until it started to thicken. If I continued to cook it, it might have turned into caramel. Don’t do that. Or maybe do that if you think it would be good. But I like the dressing to really stick to the ingredients, so I let it simmer until really sticks to the back of the spoon.
I also like the combination of the sweet, sautéed shallots and the sharp, raw shallots in this salad. I made some caramelized onions in these chipotle cheddar crumpets with candied Vidalia onions. Since they were so delicious, I saved those onions and nibble on them in salads and sandwiches. Oh so delicious. So, I knew these shallots would be similar and something I would devour.
You see what I mean about those shallots? And the sticking power of the dressing? It hasn’t run completely off the spinach leaves. And those shallots look almost like candied bits on these, too. This salad definitely has the ultimate in sweet and sour along with a little smoky and spicy.
Personal anecdote. I remember as a kid sitting at the dinner table most of the night because I refused to eat something. And that something? Canned spinach combined with hard-boiled eggs. Yes. That was the combination they had on my plate that I refused to eat. I mean canned spinach by itself isn’t all that great. And I have no idea who’s brain child it was to add the eggs, but the combination was just not appealing. At all. Seeing the spinach and eggs on the same plate made of think of that.
But when Mom or Dad put this salad in front me, with or without the shallots and pears, there would be nothing, but a clean plate left. And that’s what happened when we had this for dinner; clean plate!
Since this was such a hearty salad, I just seared up some bone in pork chops to have with it. You could easily serve this salad up with a nice crusty bread and you’d be satisfied. It would be great with a nice BLT sandwich. MORE BACON! But either way this is one salad that we’ll have on the menu often. It’s that good!
- 5 to 6 slices of center cut bacon
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots, divided
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- 1 Bartlett pear (about the size of a fist)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- In a non-stick skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a wire rack (or a paper towel lined plate).
- Add half of the shallots to pan and sauté them until they are tender.
- Carefully add the vinegar and bring to a simmer.
- Add the sugar and stir until it has melted into the vinegar.
- Bring to a boil and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Divide the spinach evenly between 4 plates.
- Core and thinly slice the pear and spread the slices on top of the spinach.
- Sprinkle the remaining shallots on top.
- Carefully pour the warm dressing over the salads.
- Garnish the salads with slices of the eggs and the chopped pecans.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 322Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 110mgSodium 372mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 4gSugar 32gProtein 12g