We made this new salad a few times recently and it turned out really well. I wrote up the recipe for Anna's mom and figured I'd post it for anyone interested.
I found a warmed (wilted) spinach salad recipe online for the sauce, I added the walnuts, feta and apples.
-As much spinach as you want to eat...there ends up being a kind of filling, large, non-spinach component, but it does shrink with the wilting.
-Bacon (if unavailable, could just use oil, with bacon bits...oil in the sauce and blue cheese sprinkled on top would also work)
-Garlic (1 fresh crushed or 1/2 tbsp of the jar stuff)
-Cider vinegar (others would be fine too)
-Apple, cranberries be a good substitute/addition
-Feta cheese, swiss might work too
1. Get spinach out...should be at least room temp before final steps. Did this the 1st time and not the second and there was a difference in outcome.
2. Cook up 3-7 strips of bacon to extra crisp in a decent sized frying pan.
3. While bacon cooks, mince 1/4-1/2 onion depending on salad size...red onion might be nice, haven't tried it yet. Crush 1/4-3/4 cup walnuts (I just squeeze them in my hands) and cut one large or 2 small apples into 1-2cm size chunks.
4. Grab the bacon strips out, crush (hands again) and set aside, leave the fat in the pan, it's the oil and flavor for the sauce. Supplement with 1-2 tbsp olive oil if not enough.
5. Throw the minced onion in and cook, when almost done cooking onion add garlic for 20-30 sec
6. Then add 1-2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/4-1/2 tsp salt, some pepper, and 2 tbsp cider vinegar (you can make this in a cup while onions cook)
7. While sauce heats up, put feta on spinach. Once sauce is fully heated (bubbly) pour over spinach/feta in serving bowl then mix to coat and wilt all the spinach. (you could microwave fridge stored sauce, but I think warming in a saucepan is better)
8. I think salads are best served individually, so I put portions on plates then generously sprinkle the apple chunks, crushed walnuts and bacon over the top. Looks really pretty on the plate, a few cranberries also fit the color scheme well. It works fine to mix everthing, the chunks tend to get unevenly distributed and the apples yellow though. We ate this with a piece of bread and an orange and it was pretty filling for a main course from all the protein. The first time I also had some Frozen Foreman-ed Chicken with just one of those flavor sprinkles on it that also went well with it.
Enjoy! Happy new year.
This is a similar recipe that sounds good. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/warm-spinach-salad-roasted-pecan-bacon-dressing-with-goat-cheese-recipe/reviews/index.html