Last month my husband and I were literally whisked away by Princess Cruises for an amazing 5 day Caribbean vacation. We didn’t have a lot of time to plan, but we didn’t hesitate when asked. Our honeymoon was a week long Caribbean cruise, and we couldn’t wait to go back. We loved our trip! It was a fabulous combination of adventure and relaxation for just the two of us. Over the next month I’m going to be sharing with you all aspects of our experiences, but today I have to share with you a recipe I made last week. This Bacon Spinach Salad was created by a Princess Cruises chef and features a homemade red wine vinaigrette. And let me tell you, it is absolutely amazing.
Aboard the Caribbean Princess ship, we received some amazing food and service. When I think back to my cruise, my mind immediately goes to the top-notch food and fun excursions. One of our unique experiences included a special Chef’s dinner. I’ll share more about the to-die-for courses in an upcoming post, but we walked away with this beautiful cookbook, Courses: A Culinary Journey.
It appeared to be a wonderful addition to any family meal and my mind went to my next upcoming celebration with family, Thanksgiving of course. I typically bring a dessert or appetizers while my mom slaves over the main meal. A refreshing salad would be the perfect touch and help my mom with the main courses for a nice change of pace. I knew I wanted to test it out first to make sure it was Thanksgiving worthy.
- 1½ pounds baby spinach leaves
- 2 eggs, hard boiled
- 8 slices applewood-smoked bacon
- 1½ cups fresh button mushrooms, washed and sliced
- ¼ red onion, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup bacon fat
- juice from one lemon
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic chopped
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare hard boiled eggs and cool.
- Cook bacon until crisp, reserving bacon fat. Crumble bacon.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor or small blender at least 30 minutes in advance to allow flavors to combine. Blend until fairly smooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary and hold at room temperature. Stir the dressing before serving and adjust the seasoning again if necessary.
- To serve, toss spinach with light coating of dressing Season with salt and pepper if desired. Arrange leaves on plate and garnish with bacon, egg, mushrooms, onion and tomatoes.
Oh boy, I couldn’t stop eating this salad. I had around three servings until my husband came home from work and polished off the rest. I would say that I’m sorry my kids aren’t vinaigrette fans so they would eat it too, but I’m not. Because my husband and I got this huge salad all to ourselves. Salad is a favorite food of mine, and this one allows me to eat bacon and egg at the same time. Score!
I did alter the recipe slightly by adding the cherry tomatoes. They add so much color and flavor. You can skip them if you want, but tomatoes are a favorite of mine so they aren’t going anywhere but my belly. I waited to top the salad off with egg until I plate it so my egg didn’t get squashed. And because I love vinaigrette, I tossed everything in the dressing except for the bacon and egg. You will have plenty of dressing leftover. We’ve been putting it on our salads at dinner. Just be sure to rest the dressing in some warm water before using. The dressing gets firm in the fridge because of the delicious bacon fat so it needs to be warmed up a bit.
If you love food like we do, Princess Cruises is sure to delight your tastebuds with their wide variety of options on board. You’ll find such treasures as Chocolate Journeys, a one-of-a-kind chocolate experience created by Norman Love on board their entire fleet starting in January 2015. (Some ships like the Princess Regal have it already.) We sampled some of these decadent chocolate desserts and they are truly special.
Watch for more updates regarding our Princess Cruise experience coming soon!
A big thank you to Princess Cruises for inviting us on board their beautiful ship with travel expenses paid. All thoughts are my own.