Apple - bacon flavored slider-sized patties are set atop a bed of dressed and wilted spinach leaves for this salad. I love using spinach as a salad base, especially baby spinach. I use to waste more bagged salad mix until I made this switch; when the spinach has been in my fridge for more that 3-4 days, I just cook it! Can't do THAT with lettuce....well you could, but it wouldn't be pretty!
The warm dressing consists of a red onion sauteed in a bit of bacon drippings (which you could substitute with coconut oil), crumbled bacon, lemon juice and lime juice. Now pour that over baby spinach leaves and toss. Yow-zah!! I'm not finished yet....the salty, savory and sour salad - paired with the lightly sweetened chicken slider patties.....double Yow-zah!! (I seem to be on a sweet and sour kick lately.)
The slider patties are packed with flavor; made by lightly sweetening ground chicken with honey, grated apple, chopped celery, and a little crumbled bacon. Finally, the addition of crunchy apple pieces sprinkled atop, ties it all together.
Again I served S a "salad" (said with detest) for supper...a salad! Like with the Big Salad that was recently made, he was ready to forsake supper and dive into a tub of hummus with a sleeve of crackers. Then, once he tried a bite....he liked it (Mikey likes it!! Remember that commercial?) and wanted seconds ("more meat, less leaf this time" - a direct quote).
Wilted Salad with Apple Bacon Sliders - sliders adapted from, OnceAMonthMom.com
makes 4 servings
For The Sliders
1 pound lean ground chicken
1 large apple, grated (I used a large Fiji apple)
1/4 c celery leaves and innermost stalks, finely chopped
4 strips of cooked bacon, finely chopped
2 TBS honey
1/8 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a large bowl combine the grated apple, chopped celery, chopped bacon, honey, salt and pepper. Mix with a large spoon until the honey is dissolved and incorporated with the other ingredients. Add in the ground chicken, gently mix together - you can use your hands to mix if preferred, this mixture is quite sticky and wet, so I used a spoon.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. If you don't have a reliable nonstick pan, lightly spray or oil the pan to prevent the sliders from sticking.
Divide the slider mixture into 8 servings (roughly 1/4c per patty). Spoon patty mix onto hot pan, quickly shape and press into patty-shaped rounds (I found this to be the best method seeing how wet the mixture was. I tried pre-shaping the patties, then cooking, and got the same results using both methods).
Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the edges are browned and caramelized and the meat is cooked through in the center.
Transfer the sliders to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm while the salad is assembled.
For The Wilted Salad
8 Apple Bacon Sliders
10 ounce package of baby spinach
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large apple, cored and chopped (again, a Fiji apple)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 tsp bacon drippings
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp fresh lime juice
pinch of salt
pinch of fresh ground pepper
Transfer the spinach into a large bowl, set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat (I used the same pan for the sliders as I did the spinach). Add the bacon drippings and the crumbled bacon until the bacon grease melts and the bacon just begins to sizzle - add in the chopped onion, salt & pepper - stir to coat the onions and cook for about a minute - just to soften the onions. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in lemon and lime juice. Pour over the spinach leaves. Toss the spinach until the dressing is evenly distributed.
Divide onto 4 serving plates, top each salad with 2 slider patties. Quarter, core and chop the apple, sprinkle over the salads. Serve immediately.
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