Cooking with Alex: Warm spinach salad

North Central UP

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Fall has arrived and this week, Alex Palzewicz of Taste the Local Difference and the U.P. Food Exchange shares a Warm Spinach Salad recipe with Local 3’s Rebecca Bartelme and talks about things to consider this season when it comes to supporting local food systems.

Alex touches on Virtual Cooking Classes at the Marquette Food Co-op, changes in opportunities to order local food, and a virtual Marquette area Local Food Fest celebration that all are welcomed to follow along with.

Warm Spinach Salad (Serves 4) 


  • 2 parts balsamic vinegar
  • 1 part maple syrup
  • 1 part olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste- put ingredients in a container and shake before using


  • 4-5 slices of bacon
  • chopped 2 carrots
  • diced 6-8 radishes
  • diced 1 leek
  • thinly sliced pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cups of spinach

Bring a cast-iron pan to medium-high heat and let the bacon begin to cook, once you see it being to sweat, add the carrot, radish, and leek.

Sprinkle with salt and let cook on medium for 3-5 minutes (try a piece to see if it’s the consistency you like).

Turn the heat level to medium/low and add the garlic. If all the bacon fat looks to be absorbed, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Let cook for another 3 minutes. Turn off heat.

Place spinach in a large mixing bowl. Add the warm veggies and bacon to the bowl as well as 2 tablespoons of your dressing.

Mix with spoon or tongs to avoid touching warm ingredients, but mix while warm to help wilt and breakdown the spinach.


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