Justin Girouard's Warm Pecan Spinach Salad
- 1 lb baby spinach
- 8 strips of your favorite bacon cut into thin ribbons
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 medium purple onion (1/2 sliced thin, 1/2 chopped small)
- 12 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves pulled off and reserved
- 3 cup Cane River Pecan Pieces
- 2 cup Cane River Pecan Praline Pecans
- 30 large gulf shrimp (deveined and peeled with tails left on)
Makes 6 Servings
In a small sauce pot cook bacon ribbons over a medium heat until crispy and all the fat is rendered. Strain the meat and reserve both the fat and the meat. Allow bacon fat to cool to about 85 degrees or just enough to maintain a liquid state.
For the dressing. In a blender combine: mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, chopped purple onion, thyme leaves and 1/2 cup of Cane River Pecan pieces. Blend at a high speed until everything is pureed smooth. Once smooth, slowly drizzle in reserved bacon fat (approximately 4 tablespoons) and vegetable oil. The dressing should become thicker as the fat and oil are incorporated and you can add a 1/4 cup of cold water if it becomes too thick. Conversely, if the dressing is too thin, add more oil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper.
Season and grill tail-on shrimp.
Warm the dressing by floating a sealed container of it in a simmering pot of water for 1 minute.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the spinach leaves 2 cups of Cane River Pecan Praline Pecans and remaining Pecan Pieces with the dressing until coated well.