For the pickled red onions
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of hot sauce
a sprinkle or two of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
1 large red onion, sliced into thin rounds
For the salad
8 slices of bacon, diced
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of any mustard
8-10 oz. of baby spinach
8 oz. of feta cheese chunks
Begin with the pickled red onions. Put the sugar, vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and pepper into a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and heat just long enough to return the mixture to a simmer, 2 or 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature. For best results, rest the mixture overnight in your refrigerator.
When it's salad time, brown the bacon pieces in a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat until they're crispy. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a few pieces of folded paper towel. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the bacon fat, vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and mustard until smooth. Just before serving, toss the dressing with the spinach leaves and top with the feta, bacon, and pickled red onions. Serve and share!
bacon recipe courtesy of: Chef Michael Smith's Kitchen: 100 of My Favorite Recipes, by Michael Smith, p. 55; Penguin Canada, 2011