This certainly isn't the prettiest salad you'll ever eat, but it is quite flavorful, and delicious!
Last night I found myself with a few cherry tomatoes on the vine which were crying to be used. They had just passed their peak, so I roasted them in a little olive oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in a hot oven, until the skins popped and browned slightly.
Roasting tomatoes brings out their sweetness, it's a method I use often if I find myself with under ripe, out of season, not-so-flavorful grocery store tomatoes, or those which are past their prime and must be cooked.
While the tomatoes roasted, I fried up some thick-sliced bacon, (cut into large bite-size pieces before cooking.) I also toasted a few tablespoons of pine nuts (pignoles), and rinsed, drained and de-stemmed the baby spinach leaves.
The simple dressing I devised for this salad complements the flavors and texture very well ~ and you can adjust the proportions according to your own taste. It is simply honey, rough, whole-grain Dijon mustard, and unseasoned rice wine vinegar, whisked together until emulsified. I use almost equal amounts of honey and mustard (I like just a little more mustard than honey) , and enough rice wine vinegar to make it the consistency you like.
It was a good way to use up those past-their-prime tomatoes. I served this along with an asparagus tart for a satisfying dinner.