a little restaurant in Edmond, Oklahoma, my home town. It was in the space where I had my first job, a clerk in a doughnut shop. We clerks got all the doughnuts and ice cream we could eat. Great perks. I lost the job when my hair got too long and I refused to cut it. Ah the Sixties! The restaurant is now kind of shishi. Like Edmond now. Now I eat sweet salads instead of doughnuts. Ah, my sixties!
If you have the walnuts and bacon ready, this is five minutes to put together. If you don't--and have an oven on for something else--you can cook the bacon and the walnuts while other things are going.
Sugared walnuts are kind of a pain to make, and messy gooey to clean up. So an easy (and easy clean-up) method is to simply put eight ounces of walnuts (whole or pieces) on a Silpat in a baking pan, spray with cooking spray, and toss with two tablespoons of sugar. Bake in a 370 to 450 degree oven (depending on what else you are cooking) for five to ten minutes, shaking once or twice. Check them after 5 minutes. They will be crisp and only slightly sugary. Slide the Silpat out of the baking pan and cool. You can add salt or a bit of cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning.
- 3 tablespoons vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 8 ounces spinach leaves, from a bag--or if not, washed! (romaine works too)
- 4 strips oven-cooked bacon, crumbled or minced (place bacon on a sheet in a preheated 400 oven for 15-30 minutes)
- 1 cup crumbled Roquefort or other good blue cheese, such as Maytag
- 1 pear, cored and cut into eight sections. (An apple corer will help here.)
- 1 cup toasted or sugared walnuts (or pecans or almonds)
- Combine the vinaigrette and honey and microwave until warm. Start with 10 seconds on high. OR if the honey is too cold to pour, microwave the honey jar until it is warm (start with 15 seconds) and pour the warm honey into the vinaigrette, stirring with a fork to combine.
- Chop the pears sections, crumble or mince the bacon, and toss with the dressing.
- Add the spinach, the Roquefort, and the walnuts and toss again.