How to Make the Ultimate Umami-Bomb Vegetarian Demi-Glace
3 strips thickly sliced lean bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
2 small plums, sliced into thin wedges, or 4 fresh purple figs, quartered
One 5-ounce bag of baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup marcona or other salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese, such as Cabrales
1/4 pound thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto (8 slices)
In a large skillet, cook the bacon in the olive oil over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shallot, vinegar, mustard and thyme.
Scrape the dressing into a large bowl. Add the plums and spinach, season with salt and pepper and toss. Add the nuts and crumbled blue cheese and toss again. Transfer the salad to plates, top with the sliced ham and serve.