Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Arugula Salad with Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette

*Serves 1*

Ingredients (salad):
2 cups Baby arugula
3 Strips Bacon (sugar and nitrate free)
1/2 Cucumber (peeled)
1 Mini bell pepper (or about 1/4 of a large one)
1/2 Avocado (peeled and pitted)
1/8 cup Shelled pistachios
1/8 cup Crumbled goat cheese
(*The beauty of salad is that you can add or subtract just about anything and it will taste great. Throw in grilled chicken, shrimp, eggs, olives, etc. to mix it up a little.)


Cook bacon on a panini press to ensure crispiness and to collect the fat drippings (a pan will work, but not as quickly and easily). Meanwhile, put arugula into a serving dish. Slice cucumber, avocado and pepper, then add to the bowl. Add the pistachios and goat cheese. When done cooking, break apart the bacon and crumble on top of the salad. Set aside the bacon drippings for use in the dressing.

Ingredients (base vinaigrette):
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Minced roasted garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard (*No sugar added)
Coarse salt and pepper
3/4 cup Light olive oil

(*This will make enough for several salads; the bacon drippings from the recipe above are to be added fresh to a small portion of this dressing, but not to the base, or it will not keep for as long.)

In a large bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Continuing to whisk, add oil slowly in a stream about the width of pencil lead. Pour mixture into a sealed container. When the recipe for the salad above is ready to be served, pour the desired amount of dressing into a small bowl along with the leftover bacon drippings and mix together (use a little less than half the amount of dressing used). Pour over salad.

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