Baby Spinach Salad with Black Eyed Peas, Lardons, and Pecan-Vinaigrette
- 1 cup black eyed peas, soaked in cold water overnight
- Chicken stock or water, to cover
- 1/2 medium white onion, halved
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 pound slab bacon or thick cut (cut into 1/4-inch strips or "lardons")
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces, finely chopped, plus 1/3 cup
- 1/4 cup pecan oil or other nut oil
- 1 pound baby spinach, washed and dried
In a saucepan, put the peas and cover with chicken stock or water. Add the onion, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and cook, uncovered, until peas are tender but not broken (still al dente). Allow to cool in the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan, heat the lardons over medium heat, rendering the fat until lardons are crispy. Set lardons aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the shallots, mustard, and vinegar, and slowly drizzle in the canola oil. Stir in the 1/4 cup of pecans.
In large bowl, toss the greens and lardons with half of the dressing. Evenly divide the salad between 4 plates. Place the cooled peas to the bowl and dress with the remaining dressing. Spoon the peas over the greens and sprinkle with the remaining chopped pecans.
Recipe courtesy of Tanya Holland