Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tea Room Recipe #44 - Younkers Tea Room (Des Moines, Iowa)

Do you usually get a salad along with your afternoon tea when you visit a tea room? I do only occasionally, but I love salads and it's always a treat to get one at teatime, because tea room salads are always much more special than just a little iceberg lettuce with some thousand island dressing thrown on top. This week, I made a tea room's once-famous salad simply because the bacon dressing reminded me of a tasty salad I once had in Atlanta.

This recipe comes from the "Holiday Celebrations" cookbook from Younkers, a department store whose flagship store was in Des Moines, Iowa. When I came across the book, I was thrilled to find that there is an entire chapter of tea room classics from the Younkers Tea Room, and this week's recipe is one of them.

The dressing is super easy to make, and the hot dressing over the wilted spinach leaves makes it oh so good!

Wilted Spinach Salad

8 cups spinach
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup rice vinegar
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Toss spinach and mushrooms in a large salad bowl. In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for about 3 minutes, then add onions and cook until they are translucent and the bacon is crisp. Drain and reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the skillet. Add mustard, brown sugar, white wine and vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Add eggs, toss and serve immediately. Yields 6 servings.


  1. It's a good ole spinach salad. Love them. I remember how you used to have to soak the spinach to get all the dirt out. We have come a long way. Thanks for sharing, Ruthie

  2. Yum. My husband would love that- he only eats spinach salads - and putting bacon on will win his heart over again and again.

    This looks wondeful - thanks, Angela!

    Have a great weekend, dear friend!

  3. Sounds delicious and reminds me of someplace...was it the Magic Pan?...where I used to enjoy a salad like this. And it looks so pretty in your beautiful bowl!

  4. This looks wonderful and healthy!!!

  5. Angela:
    I think you would enjoy this:

  6. Love hot bacon dressing! And atop a spinach salad, delicious! We usually serve a salad with our Afternoon Tea menu. I think it helps offset the quantity of sweets.

  7. The spinach salad looks wonderful and I'm sure it tastes yummy with the bacon dressing on top. I love that the recipe comes from a department store book with a section on their tea room. Your fascinating blog posts are the best!

  8. OK I just had dinner with the chunk of lettuce and thousand island dressing and now my mouth is watering for this salad. It does looks amazing and delicious.

  9. This has to be good. I used to shop Younkers when I lived in the Quad Cities and did not know there ever was a tea room in a Des Moines store. Angela, I am always learning from you.


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