Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

I DON'T LIKE THIS RECIPE.  It is from the weekly email I get from Cooks Illustrated magazine.  I've been looking for a good spinach salad recipe, a restaurant nearby makes one that I really love.  Unfortunately when I tried it, it was WAY, WAY too much vinegar, almost inedible.  Maybe the bacon I used didn't generate enough bacon fat or something; I didn't measure it to see if it was 1/4 cup, I just used it all.  I'm leaving this recipe on my website in case I run into it again somewhere I'll remember not to try it.

Although most bagged spinach is supposedly washed before bagging, we have often found that some leaves remain gritty. Give the leaves a quick rinse and then dry them in a salad spinner before preparing the recipe.  

8 slices thick-cut bacon , halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces 

1 (10-ounce) bag curly-leaf spinach , stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces 

1/2 red onion , sliced thin 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1/2 teaspoon salt  

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper  

2 teaspoons sugar  

1/4 cup cider vinegar  

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard  

3 hard-cooked egg , peeled and quartered (optional)   

1. Fry bacon in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1/4 cup bacon fat. Place spinach in large bowl next to stove.

 2. Return pot to medium-high heat and cook onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Working quickly, add vinegar and mustard and scrape bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Remove pot from heat, add spinach, and cover, allowing spinach to steam until just beginning to wilt, about 15 seconds.

 3. Transfer steamed spinach and hot dressing to empty bowl and toss lightly with tongs. Divide salad among individual plates and garnish with reserved bacon and eggs (if using). Serve.