On a night when you prefer to eat lightly, make a spinach salad your main course, accompanied by a slice or two of crusty bread. On another occasion, replace the spinach with arugula.
1 1/2 pounds red boiling potatoes (about 6 medium)
sea salt to taste
1 1/2 pounds spinach leaves, tough stems removed
1 red onion, thinly sliced
12 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide pieces
3 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar, or to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra if needed
ground pepper to taste
1. Place potatoes and eggs in a large pot with water to cover. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, and adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs after 8 minutes and run under cold water until cool. Add salt to the water and continue cooking potatoes until easily pierced with knife, 10-12 minutes. Drain and let cool. Peel if desired. Halve each potato lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Peel hard-boiled eggs and cut into quarters lengthwise.
2. In a bowl, combine the spinach and red onion. Add the sliced potato.
3. Put bacon in a cold frying pan and place over medium heat. Cook until the bacon begins to crisp and has rendered much of its fat, 5-7 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and add the salad. Remove frying pan from the heat. Pour off nearly all the bacon fat from the pan and discard or reserve for another use. In the same warm frying pan, away from the heat, whisk in the vinegar, and then the olive oil, scraping any brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and toss well. If needed, drizzle a bit more olive oil. Toss again, taste, and adjust seasonings.
4. Transfer the salad to a large serving platter. Arrange egg wedges around the edge and serve at once.