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Spinach, Mushroom, and Fennel Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto
Total time 45 mins
Yield Serves 8
"Every hippie menu in the '70s had a spinach and mushroom salad," chef Mark Peel says about this recipe, inspired by a restaurant from his college days in Isla Vista, California. Cut it in half for a smaller group.


  • 3 qts. (7 to 8 oz.) lightly packed baby spinach
  • 3 large eggs, hard-cooked and cut into wedges
  • 5 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces good-quality thick-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large head fennel (about 4 in. wide), trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • About 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • About 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 201
  • caloriesfromfat 75 %
  • protein 5.9 g
  • fat 17 g
  • satfat 4 g
  • carbohydrate 6.9 g
  • fiber 2.3 g
  • sodium 380 mg
  • cholesterol 92 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine spinach, eggs, and mushrooms in a large shallow serving bowl.

  2. Cut bacon on the diagonal into strips about 1/4 in. thick and 1 1/2 in. long. Cook bacon with 1/3 cup water in a large frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until water disappears, 8 to 12 minutes. Add oils and cook until bacon is light golden but still supple, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

  3. Add fennel to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to more paper towels.

  4. Stir shallot and thyme into fat in pan and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in vinegar to deglaze pan. Whisk in mustard, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, and 2 tsp. water.

  5. Add bacon and fennel to salad, scrape dressing on top, and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

  6. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

New Classic Family Dinners; Campanile, Los Angeles, CA