Monday, November 26, 2012

BLT Side Salad

Everyone needs a simple salad recipe on hand at home.  This is a side salad that I made for Thanksgiving Day and I can assure you there were no leftovers.  I used the concept of a BLT sandwich using crumbled bacon, spinach, and cherry tomatoes.  Then I added a warm balsamic-bacon dressing and tossed the whole thing right before serving.  The result was a quick, tasty salad that looks elegant and is guaranteed to impress.  This salad is dressed up enough for the holidays but simple enough for a family dinner night at home.  Bacon really does make everything better!  Enjoy.

A perfect side salad for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time of the year!
1lb organic spinach
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
6 slices nitrate-free uncured bacon
3 shallots, minced
1tsp minced garlic
1/4c balsamic vinegar
2tsp dijon mustard
2tbs extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground salt & pepper to taste

1. Place spinach and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Fry up your bacon, flipping as it cooks on one side until both sides are deep brown (about 10 minutes).  Place bacon on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the extra grease.  Crumble when cool.
3. Pour out all but about a tbs of bacon grease.  Add the shallots, garlic, and olive oil back to the saute pan with the bacon grease.  Cook on medium or medium-high until the shallots are soft and the garlic is golden brown.  Pour in your balsamic vinegar and stir in your dijon then turn off heat.  The balsamic will reduce a bit.  Stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste (if you like your dressing sweet, you can add a bit of honey here).  Let cool slightly (but still warm).
4. Pour dressing over salad.  Toss well.  Serve immediately.
Note:  If you make too much dressing, it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.  Just reheat in the microwave before tossing with the remaining salad prior to eating.

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