Recipe of the Week: Chopped Bacon Salad
For this salad, sweet romaine, fennel and bitter chicories get tossed in a fried garlic and pine nut-oregano vinaigrette. ButcherBox Bacon and creamy feta top this salad that is simple yet complex with textures and greens, nuts and cheese. This is the beauty of a chopped salad—almost anything can go in one. Some other good additions are chopped olives, more and different herbs, roasted mushrooms, and even pomegranate seeds.
Try getting ahead on the fried garlic and pine nuts, as well as cooking the bacon, so that dinner can happen quicker. If you don’t feel like chopping so much, you may use baby greens like spinach and kale. Also, feel free to change the proportion of chicory to romaine if bitter isn’t really your thing.
Prep time: 45 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 package ButcherBox Bacon
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 5 tbsp raw pine nuts or slivered almonds
- 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 large shallot, sliced thinly
- 2 heads romaine, chopped
- 3 cups mixed chopped chicories, such as radicchio, frisée and castelfranco radicchio
- 1 small head of fennel, trimmed and chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large (12-inch diameter) skillet over medium heat. Once hot, cook the bacon slices in batches by first laying about 4 to 5 slices in the hot oil, turning them regularly and adding more slices, one by one, as the first slices brown and shrink. Do this until all the slices are cooking. When crisp and browned to your desire, about 10 to 12 minutes, transfer bacon slices to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 3 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
- Add the garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon until the edges of the garlic start to turn golden. Add the pine nuts and continue cooking, stirring, until both the garlic and pine nuts look golden and toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes Turn off the heat and with a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic and pine nuts to the paper towel-lined plate too.
- In a large bowl, mix the red wine vinegar and honey with a whisk or fork until dissolved then add the shallot, season with salt and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil and warm fat from the skillet. Season with salt and pepper, whisk again then add the romaine, chicories, fennel and oregano. Toss the greens very well with the vinaigrette.
- To serve, top the salad with the crispy garlic and pine nuts then crumble the bacon over it.