Traditional recipes

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing Recipe

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing Recipe


  • 1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach leaves
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, halved, cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges with some core attached
  • 1 7-ounce package feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar

Recipe Preparation

  • Place spinach in large bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add onion; sauté until brown and softened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with spinach; remove skillet from heat. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil and cheese to skillet. Stir to melt cheese slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over spinach; toss to coat and wilt slightly.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,Reviews Section

Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing

Salads Suck! Well they don't really suck, but when put against something like a hot piece of pizza with spicy meat, crispy, thin crust, and gooey, melty cheese fresh out of a 500 degree oven and dipped in. Wait, I was talking about salad. Let's face it, we can't eat pizza everyday and getting a healthy dose of greens is one of those things I keep being told is vital to, you know, living.

I really do enjoy a good salad, but I know even healthy eaters will admit that you can really only love salad to a point, and if we are going to eat salad it has to be great. This Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing hits all the right notes with slightly wilted spinach, creamy hard-boiled eggs, almonds, bacon,and more. It is super satisfying and a quick fix for a weeknight meal. When the pizza place is calling put down the phone and pick up the spinach.

Spinach salad with roasted grapes, feta, and walnuts

I haven’t been in the mood for salads as much since fall arrived. Comfort foods and soups took their place on the menu as the temperatures started to drop.

Then, Mother Nature got confused and summer-like temperatures re-emerged. I’m not complaining. I’ll take as many sunny and 80 degree days that she wants to give me.

With those warmer temperatures came a salad craving, so yesterday I scoured the fridge to see what I could come up with. I had the right ingredients for a tasty salad: baby spinach leaves, grapes, feta, and walnuts.

I wanted something a little different though, and thought roasting the grapes would make this a decidedly fall salad. It was a good choice, as roasting fruit brings out so much flavor and concentrates the sweetness.

The grapes, tossed first in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, become extra sweet and tangy. When the warm grapes are combined with the feta, toasted walnuts, and spinach, the spinach leaves become a little wilted and no extra dressing is needed.

I gobbled this salad up faster than a hungry pregnant lady in her third trimester (oh wait…that’s me!) and wished I had more. Try it. You’ll see what I mean.

Dinner Tonight: Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing Recipe

For me, the only kind of spinach salad is a wilted spinach salad. For proof, I give you this golden oldie, reinterpreted by Alton Brown. This sucker is flawless. The red wine vinegar balances the bacon fat, the creamy egg contrasts the crisp red onion. And best of all, the hot dressing wilts the spinach leaves. Though I found success a while back with thiswilted spinach salad with feta, the original is probably better. Thank you, Alton Brown.

I left the instruction for hard boiling the eggs because everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter. Alton likes to cook his in an electric kettle. Simply Recipes uses the traditional stove top method. I've even weighed in on the issue, having had some remarkable luck cooking them for 4 hours in a crock pot. Obviously, this isn't practical, but hey, they were delicious. Anyway, whichever method you choose is fine—just remember to add the eggs to the salad. I devoured half of this salad before I remembered the egg, hence its absence from the picture.

My Spinach Salad

Cook eggs: cover with water, bring to a boil, then turn off heat and allow to sit in water for 20 minutes. Drain off water and add ice on top of eggs.

Fry bacon until crispy/chewy. Remove to a paper towel.

Remove 3 tablespoons grease and set aside.

Add 2 add'l tablespoons of grease to a separate skillet over medium heat.

Slice red onions very thinly, then add to skillet. Cook slowly until onions are caramelized and reduced. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Slice mushrooms and add them to the same skillet. Cook slowly until caramelized and brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Make hot bacon dressing: Add 3 tablespoons bacon grease, vinegar, sugar, and Dijon to a small saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk mixture together and heat thoroughly.

Add spinach to a large bowl. Arrange onions, mushrooms, and bacon on top. Pour hot dressing over the top toss to combine.
Arrange eggs over the top and serve.

This spinach salad is set apart from the typical spinach salad in two important ways: The red onions, which are usually sliced thin and added to the salad raw, are cooked until brown and tossed with the spinach. And the mushrooms, which are also usually sliced and added to the salad raw, are&hellipcooked until brown and tossed with the spinach. Crumbled bacon comes next, followed by a drizzle of hot bacon dressing. Then finally, the salad is topped with sliced hard boiled eggs. So you have the cold spinach tossed with warm onions, mushrooms, and bacon, tossed with hot bacon dressing, and topped with cold, sliced eggs.

It just doesn&rsquot get any better than that.

We go way back, this salad and me, and we&rsquove had a long, long time to get acquainted. And we know each other well.

We&rsquore going to need some hard boiled eggs&mdashthree of them. So put three eggs into a smallish saucepan&hellip

Cover the eggs with water.

Then turn off the heat and allow the eggs to sit in the water while you fix the other ingredients. Don&rsquot be disturbed by the floaties in the water&mdashthey&rsquore mineral deposits and egg residue, so there.

Next, fry seven slices of thick-cut bacon. I like to cut the pieces in half before frying&mdashthey cook more evenly that way.

ATK Recipe #41 and 42: Corn Fritter & Wilted Spinach Salad with Feta and Olives

And I’m finally caught up to recipes I’ve made this month. I put these two recipes together for dinner one night when I was looking for things I could make cheaply. I also know I need to get going with the salad section or I’ll be eating salad for a couple months running.

The corn fritters are made by slicing fresh corn off the cob and then grating the cob to get all the corn juice out of it. The corn is mixed with egg, flour, corn meal, heavy cream, 1 shallot, salt and pepper. Except I didn’t have heavy cream and had to use 2% milk instead. At only 2 tablespoons, I couldn’t imagine it made a huge difference. So, at this point the recipe refers to your mixture as “batter,” but what I had didn’t resemble my idea of batter. It looked like a big bowl of corn tossed with a few tablespoons of corn meal and milk. But, ok, I’m not the cookbook writer. Maybe just don’t know jack about corn fritters. So I heat the oil in the pan to fry my fritters and start trying to fry them. The picture next to the recipe shows a stack of gorgeous golden corn pancakes, but my spoons of corn “batter” are just becoming individual kernels of fried corn. So I decide something is horribly wrong and scoop all my corn bits out of the hot oil.

I threw another egg, some more milk and a bunch more corn meal into the bowl of corn until it starts to look more like a batter. Once I started frying the improved batter, it was obvious this was more what it was supposed to be like. This time I got little flat cakes of corn. They still fell apart a bit in handling, but I tasted as I went and they tasted great. I’m honestly a bit shocked that this recipe was so wildly off. I rechecked the amounts several times to make sure the mistake wasn’t mine. Maybe it was a typo. Surely my ears of corn weren’t abnormally larger than most?

Of course I couldn’t just serve fried corn for dinner, much as I may have wanted to. So I looked for something with some green veggies to balance the fried food. We love spinach, feta, and olives, so this recipe sounded unbeatable. To my knowledge I’ve never had a “wilted” salad and it’s not a very appetizing descriptor. What that means is that you cook the onion and garlic in a pan, add the rest of the dressing ingredients and warm them. (In this case those were olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.) Then you pour the warm dressing on the cool spinach right before serving, which just barely wilts the spinach to make it tender. The chopped kalamata olives and feta are spinkled on top. The finished product was something like a Greek salad, except with nutritious spinach. I was surprised the salad wasn’t warm but just room temperature.


Add the egg to a small or medium saucepan, cover with cold water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, keep covered, and allow to stand 10 minutes.

While the eggs are sitting in the hot water, fill a medium bowl with 1 quart ice water.

After 10 minutes, remove the eggs from the hot water to ice water with a slotted spoon, allow to stand for another 5 minutes. Peel the eggs, quarter them lengthwise, and set aside.

The bacon cooks quicker if you chop the slices into ½ inch sized pieces. Add the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook until crisp, 9 to 11 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to dissolve, set aside.

With a slotted spoon, remove bacon from the skillet, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Transfer the bacon fat into a small bowl, then return 3 tablespoons of bacon fat to the same skillet.

Stir in the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring often.

Pour the vinegar mixture, then remove the skillet from heat, working quickly, scape the bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits of flavor.

Pour the dressing over the spinach, place the bacon on top, and gently toss until spinach is just wilted.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Citrus Vinaigrette

This will surely warm you right up. Serve as a side to any meal or by itself for lunch.


  • ½ pounds Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ cups Oil-cured Black Olives, Pitted And Halved
  • 1 whole Medium Red Onion Halved And Cut Into 1/4-inch-thick Wedges
  • Fresh Cilantro, To Sprinkle On Top
  • Sea Salt And Pepper
  • _____
  • ⅓ cups Orange Juice
  • ⅓ cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ⅓ cups Olive Oil
  • ¼ cups Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar Or Sweetner
  • ¼ teaspoons Sea Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper


Wash and dry spinach. Place cleaned and dried spinach in a large bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy, large skillet over high heat. Add onion saute until brown and softened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the spinach. Add dressing ingredients to the skillet and whisk together over medium heat until warm. Pour over spinach toss to coat and wilt slightly. Sprinkle with cilantro. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

If beet greens are attached, remove all but 1/2 inch of the stems (so as not to pierce the beets) and reserve for another use. Put beets in a baking dish with water.

Cover tightly and bake until a small knife slips in easily, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool slightly, then peel. Let cool completely, then cut into 1/2-inch wedges.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, the garlic, the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, toss together beets and red onion and about half of the dressing. Let stand 10 minutes to absorb flavors, then taste and sprinkle with a little more vinegar if necessary.

In a large bowl, toss spinach with remaining dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning. Divide equally among individual plates. Top with beets and onions. Crumble feta over each salad.

Variation: Instead of feta, you might want to make this salad with a blue cheese.

Warm Spinach, Mushroom, & Feta Salad

A warm wilted spinach salad, topped with caramelized mushrooms, salty feta, and crispy bacon!


  • Olive Oil
  • 3 slices Diced Bacon
  • 12 ounces, weight Quartered Button Mushrooms
  • ½ Medium Red Onion, Sliced
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 5 ounces, weight Baby Spinach
  • ⅓ cups Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • ½ Lemon, Juiced


Add a tiny drizzle of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add in bacon and sizzle it up until it’s nice and golden and crispy. Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon, reserving the bacon oil in the skillet.

Add in the mushrooms and onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until caramelized. Add in baby spinach and sauté until just wilted. Transfer to a serving dish.

Top with feta crumbles and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Pickled Shallots

Scott Linquist, chef at Border Grill, taught us this terrific technique for wilting spinach leaves right in the bowl. It immediately opens the leaves' pores so they absorb the dressing quickly--necessitating only a small amount of dressing for lots of flavor.

Notes To toast pepitas, heat a dry skillet over medium heat and add the seeds. Toast shaking, the pan frequently, until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and add a dash of soy sauce, swirling the pan to coat the pepitas evenly. Add to salads while still warm.

Cooking Method pickling, preserving, sauteeing

Occasion Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Course main course, side dish

Dietary Consideration egg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Taste and Texture crunchy, nutty, tangy, tart

Type of Dish first course salad, main course salad, salad, warm salad


  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small bunches spinach , stems removed, washed, and dried
  • 10 pickled shallots , recipe follows, sliced into rings
  • ½ cup pepitas, toasted (see Notes)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta or anejo cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper corns
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 20 medium shallots , peeled


Combine the vinegar, wine, brown sugar, peppercorns, mustard seeds, chile flakes, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the shallots and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely in the liquid.

Transfer the shallots and all their liquid to a jar or plastic container. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Just before serving, assemble all of the ingredients for the salad on the counter. Turn on a stovetop burner to medium-high. Set a large stainless steel bowl over the burner and heat until very hot. Using an oven mitt or pot holder to protect your hands, pour the vinaigrette into the bowl and swirl for a minute or two, until the vinaigrette is hot. Quickly throw in the spinach and shallots and toss the salad with tongs to coat evenly. When the spinach begins to wilt, remove from the heat and transfer to serving plates. Sprinkle with the toasted pepitas and the cheese if desired. Serve immediately.