Mushroom Salad with Bacon Raspberry Vinaigrette
-3 to 4 cups lettuce or spinach
-2 or more eggs, hardboiled
-1/2 cup thin-sliced red onions, divided
-1 cup sliced, fresh white mushrooms
-1/4 cup sunflower kernels
-1 cup fresh ripe raspberries (or other fruit–see note below!), divided
-5 to 6 slices bacon
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon garlic powder (or equivalent minced garlic)
-3 tablespoons salad oil
-2 tablespoons vinegar (cider or red wine)
First things first, boil some eggs. At least 2. Start with about 3 or 4 cups of any leaf vegetable–lettuce, baby spinach, arugula, whatever.Next, make about 1/2 cup of VERY thin slices of onion (red or otherwise). Divide the sliced onion into halves and toss 1/2 of the onions into the salad mix.
Next, add about 1 cup sliced, fresh white mushrooms to the salad. Throw in 1/4 cup sunflower kernels (or nuts) and about 1/2 cup fresh (washed!) raspberries. If they’re not in season or on sale, you can always swap out this ingredient with something else–fresh strawberries, even canned mandarin oranges work nicely and make a fine salad/vinaigrette substitution on the cheaps.Heat a medium-sized skillet and place 5-6 strips bacon in the bottom. Fry until crisp; remove bacon from pan, leaving the grease. Move skillet to a cooled surface. When eggs are ready (after boiling 15-20 minutes), place them in ice water to cool so they will separate from their shells more easily.
Meanwhile, take another 1/2 cup of ripe raspberries (or whatever fruit you’re using) and mash with a wooden spoon until juiced. Sprinkle mashed fruit with 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or equivalent minced garlic) and 1 teaspoon salt; mix well. Stir in 3 tablespoons salad oil (the type of olive oil that’s been cut with soybean oil is a REAL money saver) and 2 tablespoons red wine- or cider vinegar.Dump vinegar mixture into liquid bacon grease and stir well. Add the other half of the sliced onions to the vinaigrette; mash into mixture with wooden spoon. Allow vinaigrette to sit for a minute or two while you slice the boiled eggs and add them to the salad. (Throw crumbled bacon on the top, too, if you like.)Strain the dressing mixture with a spoon and drizzle liquid over salad. Serve immediately.