- 8 ounces sliced bacon, diced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed
- Pinch of salt, plus more if needed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Creole or other coarse-grain mustard
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 8 cups fresh spinach, tough stems removed, leaves washed and spun dry (about 12 ounces)
- 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Pour off all but ¼ cup of the rendered bacon drippings from the skillet.
- Add the onion to the drippings remaining in the skillet, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, and salt and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the mustard and vinegar and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve it. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the oil. Return the bacon to the skillet and adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Divide the spinach evenly among six salad plates. Arrange the cherries around the edges, scatter the goat cheese over the top, and drizzle the warm bacon dressing over the salad. Serve immediately.