We had company from out of town which is unusual in Prince George. We are not really an the way to anywhere so any one who stops in for a visit has usually gone quite out of their way to come and see us. We were fortunate this time as a convention in town brought my uncle Kenny in for a little visit. Since the weather has been so nice we planned to grill some steaks and sausage outside for supper.....along with a rice pilaf, a spinach salad, and some Chocolate Sauce N Cake for dessert. Now, uncle Kenny lives in Victoria and he is the one who gave the recipe for the Carrot and Pineapple muffins that I blogged about here and that we have made 5 times this spring and summer season already...they are pretty darned yummy.
But....I digress.....When I was attending the University of Manitoba, many times I would go with friends to shop at the Eaton's Centre Mall. There was a restaurant there called Mr Greenjeans that we would always eat lunch at and inevitably someone, if not most of us would order the spinach salad. It was all for the dressing that came with it. It was a warm, sweet, tangy, and creamy dressing that I have seen people drink straight out of the the little pitcher it was served in along the side of your salad. Their salad (as I recall....it was a long time ago so I may have missed some things) contained spinach greens, crisp bacon, diced hard boiled eggs, mushrooms and coarsely shredded Monterey Jack Cheese........and I think croutons too. The dressing is a creamy, mildly sweet and not very sour bacon infused concoction. If you are curious to try it out or have a hankering to try and copy the old Greenjeans recipe.......I think this comes pretty close. In any event, this is the salad I decided to make for supper for uncle Kenny's visit.
Mr. Greenjeans Spinach Dressing
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1/3 cup minced onion
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsp milk to thin out dressing
Slice bacon into 1/2 inch chunks. Fry bacon slowly over medium heat until crisp and most of the fat has been rendered out of the bacon. Remove the bacon to a piece of paper towel to drain away any extra grease. Set bacon aside to toss in with the salad. Save 1/4 cup of the bacon fat and return it to the pan used to fry the bacon. You can discard any extra. To the 1/4 cup bacon fat add the flour, salt, sugar and stir it together. Remove from heat and gradually add the sour cream one heaping tbsp at a time stirring well between each addition. Return to low heat stirring until thickened about 3-4 minutes, but do not let boil. Remove from heat, add vinegar and stir to incorporate. Add warm milk to the dressing until you get a thick but pouring consistency. I used one large bag (350g) if spinach, 3 boiled chopped eggs, croutons from 5 slices of bread, 3/4 cup shredded Monerey Jack cheese, 5 thin slices from a large red onion, and 6 large mushrooms sliced to compete this salad, and the dressing seemed to be the right amount to dress it all. The next day I gently reheated the left over sauce in the microwave and thinned it out with a bit of extra milk.
There is only one Greenjeans restaurant left now......in Toronto's Eaton's Centre. Hopefully Ike and I will get a chance to go there for lunch this summer and maybe I'll have to order the spinach salad just to see how close I've come with this recipe.