Late Harvest (or Fall) raspberries are just starting to make their appearances here in Wisconsin. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I love raspberries and the fact that they are harvested twice a year thrills me. While the nights are getting cool, days can still be warm so I still, occasionally, enjoy an entree salad for dinner. This salad is bright, refreshing, and a great reminder that summer isn’t over just yet.

Spinach & Raspberry Salad

1 1 1/2 pounds Baby Spinach
6 slices Bacon, thick cut, diced
2 each Chicken breast, cut into strips
1 each Leek, white and light green parts only
3/4 cup Raspberries
1/3 cup Raspberry Vinegar
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup Pecans, toasted and chopped

If spinach is large, remove the stems. If it is tender baby spinach you can leave the stems intact. Place spinach in a large bowl. Place bacon in a saute pan and cook over medium high heat until rendered and crisp. Remove from pan, pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of bacon fat and and saute the leeks over medium heat until tender and just slightly browned around the edges. Remove leeks from pan and add the chicken. Again saute until until done then remove from pan. Add the raspberry vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn off heat and stir in the vegetable oil. Season with a few grinds of black pepper. Add the bacon, leeks, and chicken to the spinach and drizzle with the warmed raspberry vinaigrette (you may not need all of the vinaigrette). Toss to mix and divide among 2 plates. Garnish with the fresh raspberries and toasted pecans.