Pear, Goat Cheese and Spinach Salad with Warm Maple-Bacon Dressing
6 strips center cut bacon (I used Oscar Mayer Center Cut)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
salt and pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
1 large pear, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces soft goat cheese
Preheat oven to 425.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, bake the bacon for approximately 15 minutes or until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain and pour the bacon drippings into a bowl. Set aside.
In a small saute pan, toast the pine nuts over med-high heat until golden and toasted. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of bacon drippings, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup until thoroughly combined. Salt and pepper to taste. (The dressing will separate quickly so you will want to whisk again before plating. If the dressing starts to cool you can reheat it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to warm it up.)
Divide the spinach between two plates. Top the spinach with the red onion, pear, goat cheese and pine nuts. Crumble two slices of bacon and sprinkle over the salad. Spoon the dressing over the salad and serve.
You will have leftover dressing (and bacon, possibly), store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and whisk before serving.