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.