Saturday, June 9, 2012

Smoked Bacon and Arugula Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool arugula lover. I buy it by the truckload. I can't get enough of that peppery unlike any other lettuce. Arugula was originally grown in the Mediterranean region, namely Morocco, Portugal, Lebanon and Turkey. Today, the arugula you find in your local grocery store is from Mexico and California. Not only is the taste of it extraordinary, it is uncommonly rich in both vitamin C and potassium. But you'll need to eat it quickly as it does not have a very long shelf life. (One of the reasons I shop on both Mondays and Thursdays is to ensure we have fresh arugula.)

The only thing that tastes better than arugula is bacon. But then bacon tastes better than everything. (I came across a new product yesterday...bacon flavored olive oil. I thought that was just about the dumbest thing I had ever seen. To get that flavor, I'd use olive oil and real bacon.) So what we have here is a nice little Paleo salad that marries the two best flavors in the world....arugula and bacon. And to top it all off, you're going to make the vinaigrette with bacon drippings! Bacon. Shout it out! This recipe serves four.

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 2 large)
1 teaspoon Dijon or stone ground mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 ounces hardwood smoked bacon
10 ounces arugula
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper


  1. Combine vinegar, shallots, mustard and olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk and set aside.
  2. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towel. Keep bacon drippings warm over low heat.
  3. Put arugula in a large salad bowl.
  4. Crumble bacon and add to arugula.
  5. Add two tablespoons of bacon drippings to vinaigrette. Whisk and then pour over salad. Toss salad and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Wine pairing: Pinot Noir (a wine the gods created just for bacon)

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