Spinach, Mushroom, and Fennel Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Spinach, Mushroom, and Fennel Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Recipe
Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto
"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.


Serves 8
Total time: 45 Minutes

Recipe from


Recipe Time

Total: 45 Minutes

Nutritional 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


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


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.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

with Martha Rose Shulman,

Mark Peel,

Campanile, Los Angeles, CA,

New Classic Family Dinners,


February 2010
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