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Spinach Salad with Morels, Bacon & Blue Cheese
“In this hearty spinach salad recipe, asparagus and potatoes star next to bold morel mushrooms, bacon and blue cheese. Mature spinach works best here—it'll hold up better than baby spinach when tossed with warm vegetables and a sharp, mustardy vinaigrette.”
8 ounces fresh morels or 1 ounce dried
1 pound baby potatoes, halved
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt plus ¼ teaspoon, divided
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 ounces bacon
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
8 cups Abundant Bloomsdale or other mature spinach leaves, torn into large pieces
⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese
1Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°F.
2If using fresh morels, cut in half and briefly swish in a bowl of warm water. Drain and repeat to remove any dirt. Gently but thoroughly pat dry. (If using dried morels, soak in 2 cups boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain, halve and pat dry.)
3Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Roast on a baking sheet on the upper rack, shaking the pan after 10 minutes, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange in a single layer on another baking sheet. Roast on the lower rack until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
4Cut bacon crosswise into ¼-inch-thick strips. Cook in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp and browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate.
5Add the morels to the pan. Cook, stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon juice and tamari.
6Whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Add spinach and the morels; toss gently to combine. Arrange the spinach mixture, potatoes and asparagus on a platter. Top with the bacon and blue cheese and drizzle with the reserved dressing.