Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bacon, Arugula and Pear Salad

"I think what we are seeing 
here is Weiner's second coming."
Carlos Danger

I was in the ad biz for 34 years. We always considered it cheating if you used a puppy or a baby in your ad to get attention. It simply meant the creator of said puppy/baby ad was so shallow and superficial that they were unable to create an interesting way to engage the reader.

This bacon, arugula and pear salad is also cheating. It is the culinary equivalent to having both a puppy and baby in the same ad. Actually, it is the culinary equivalent of having two babies and three puppies in the ad.

First, you have his royal majesty, the King of Umami...bacon. Then you're throwing in the greatest peppery lettuce of all-time...arugula. Umami and pepper are then boosted to new heights with the addition of sweet summer fruit...Anjou pears. Toss in the acidic perfection of balsamic vinegar and then smooth everything out on the tongue with one of the most spectacular cheeses on planet earth...Gorgonzola.

So make this recipe. These ingredients represent the the All Star Cheating Team! It's Anthony Weiner meets Tiger Woods meets Jesse James meets Kristen Stewart meets Arnold Schwarzenegger meets Bill Clinton. A randy bunch, no doubt, but your tongue gets to have all of the fun. This recipe makes six, side-dish servings.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 slices bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
2 ripe pears (Anjou or Bosc)
5 ounces arugula
6 very thin slices of red onion, separated into rings
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
Fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar and salt. Whisk to mix and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from skillet. Drain on paper towels. Set aside. Add pear slices to drippings in skillet; cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine arugula, onion slices, and dressing. Gently toss to coat with dressing.
  4. Divide arugula mixture among six salad plates. Arrange pears on top. Sprinkle with bacon, pine nuts and Gorgonzola cheese. Add fresh ground pepper to taste.

Wine pairing: Rombauer Zinfandel

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