Duck Bacon and Spinach Salad

Duck bacon and spinach salad

Created for Maple Leaf Farms by Chef Matthew Nolot
Made with fresh spinach, frisée lettuce and eggs, this gourmet salad is a healthy choice for lunch or dinner. Its tangy cherry dressing is offset by sweet and spicy candied duck bacon.


  • 1

    1/2 lb. Fresh Spinach Leaves

  • 2

    1 small Head of Frisée

  • 3

    1/4 cup Toasted Walnut Pieces

  • 4

    1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and sliced

  • 5

    6 oz. Crumbled Fresh Goat Cheese

  • 6

    5-6 Red Onion Rings

  • 7

    2 tsp. Unsalted Butter

  • 8

    2 Large Eggs

  • 9

    1 Batch Duck Bacon and Cherry Vinaigrette, hot (see below)

  • 10

    1 large pinch of Smoked Sea Salt

  • 11

    4-6 slices Candied Duck Bacon (see below)

  • 14

    1/4 cup Red Onions, minced

  • 15

    1/4 tsp. + one pinch Kosher Salt

  • 16

    1/4 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

  • 17

    1/2 sprig of Fresh Thyme

  • 18

    6 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

  • 19

    1/4 cup + 2 tsp. Water

  • 20

    1/4 cup Sugar

  • 21

    2 Tbsp. Dried Cherries

  • 22

    1 tsp. Cornstarch

  • 23

    1/2 lb. Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon

  • 24

    1/2 cup Brown Sugar

  • 25

    1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper



  • 1

    Pick stems from the spinach and tear into bite-size pieces. Trim frisée and tear into bite-size pieces. Wash and dry spinach and frisée pieces and place into a large serving bowl.

  • 2

    Sprinkle the top of the salad with the toasted walnut pieces, sliced granny smith apples, crumbled goat cheese and red onion rings. Toss lightly.

  • 3

    In a small, non-stick skillet, melt the butter and add the eggs. Fry the eggs over medium heat, turning once, until they start to crisp around the edges; the yolks should still be runny. Slide the eggs on top of the salad.

Hot Duck Bacon & Cherry Dressing:

  • 1

    Dice the duck bacon into 1/4-inch dice. Heat the duck fat in a medium sauce pan until hot. Add the diced duck bacon and cook until bacon starts to crisp, about 5 minutes on medium heat.

  • 2

    Add the red onions to the pan along with the salt and pepper and continue to cook until onions start to brown, about 4 more minutes.

  • 3

    Add the thyme sprig, red wine vinegar, water, sugar and dried cherries and bring to a slow simmer.

  • 4

    Mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water to form a smooth paste. Whisk the paste into the dressing and continue to cook on low for an additional 6-7 minutes.

  • 5

    Remove from heat, remove thyme sprig and keep dressing hot until needed.

Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 1 week. Gently reheat any refrigerated portions on the stove top or microwave before serving.

Candied Duck Bacon:

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  • 2

    Place the brown sugar and cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl. Add the duck bacon slices to the bowl and toss to coat. Line the duck bacon slices in a single layer on the foil-lined baking sheet. Top the duck bacon slices with any brown sugar/cayenne mixture left in the bottom of the bowl.

  • 3

    Bake the duck bacon for 16-18 minutes until bacon is a dark golden brown and sugar is bubbly and browned on the edges. If duck bacon is not done, continue to cook in 3-4 minute increments until color is reached.

  • 4

    Remove duck bacon from the oven and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes. While slightly warm, transfer duck bacon slices to a serving plate or platter. Duck bacon will continue to crisp as it cools.

Serving & Assembly:

  • 1

    If not hot, heat the Duck Bacon and Cherry Vinaigrette until hot and pour over the salad.

  • 2

    Lightly sprinkle the salad with the Smoked Sea Salt.

  • 3

    Serve immediately garnished with the Candied Duck Bacon.


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Rating Summary
Prep Time: 35 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Ready Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: 2-3 servings