Feeling a bit nostalgic recently, I decided to pull out the stops preparing the old fashioned Bacon Dressing for today’s Garden Salad. There is no embellishment, no thickener, no water, in fact, not even salt and pepper, more like the preparation style lots of the Mom’s used when I was growing up, just getting the food onto the dinner tables of commonly large families as quickly and timely as possible.
I love Bacon Dressing on occasion, and that balance of the sweet tart between the sugar and vinegar, and then, well then, there is the bacon grease, who would’ve thought? Really. Who thought up the idea of using bacon grease in something raw like spinach salad? Though much like toppling some sliced potatoes into hot grease and thus inventing French fries, I’m happy it was discovered.
Bacon Dressing also doesn’t require being tossed together with plain ole spinach, though spinach is great too, but in this case my supply is currently replenishing having just five days ago snipped off all of the spinach stems, and decided to simply share an alternative salad that I prepare at home using the Bacon Dressing tumbled with assorted green varieties that everyone seems to love, so there you have it.
Who’s growing their own lettuce? Are you? Grown in gardens or containers, once these greens start producing, it seems like the more you pick, the more they grow, not too bad a deal for the limited amount of effort involved, plant, water, clip. This continues throughout the season, but like many things in life, it’s important to treasure the pleasures while they last, for once the season ends, it ends. But before that happens, I’ll be happily snipping and clipping enjoying each among the fresh salads to be had, including Garden Salad, Bacon Dressing.
- a few generous handfuls each mixed lettuces, enough for 4
- 1 red onion, halved, sliced thinly into half moons
- 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise
- 4 handfuls grilled, seasoned chicken cubes or any other desired topping such as tomato salad, sauteed mushrooms, optional
- 7-8 slices bacon, cooked crisp, cooled on paper towel, then chopped
- bacon grease, reserved from cooking bacon
- 1/4 cup sugar, approximately
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, approximately
- Place clean and dried lettuce into a large salad or mixing bowl with the red onion. Toss bacon dressing throughout. Transfer salad evenly among 4 bowls then top with hard boiled egg halves sprinkled with a pinch of salt each, chopped bacon, and cubed, grilled chicken breasts or other desired accompaniments.
- Halfway through cooking bacon, drain some of the grease into a separate small bowl, reserve then return to pan once bacon is fully crisped and transferred onto a paper towel covered plate. On medium heat, add the sugar to the pan with the bacon grease and stir until dissolved. Pour in the vinegar and continue cooking, stirring until the mixture combines together, about three minutes. The strength of the vinegar will balance out once mixed with the salad and onions.