Bacon and Parmesan Salad
These days it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the cement. Well, I haven’t ever tried that before, but always wondered if it would work. But instead of frying eggs on the sidewalk, I decided to fry some bacon in a pan and scatter it over a crisp and refreshing salad. I told you in my previous post that I am trying not to go grocery shopping in order to eat all our food in our fridge and freezer before we move out of our apartment at the end of this month. But after nearly four weeks of no grocery shopping, and a depleted supply of fresh produce, I just about had it with the daily self-inflicted “challenge” and weird concoctions. I felt like I was on an episode of Chopped everyday, peering into the “mystery basket” of my fridge to come up with something edible.
After finally seeing me throw my hands up in the air in sheer exhaustion and frustration over having “no food” in our house, Joe encouraged me to go grocery shopping for at least a few things I might need to make my life a little easier. Without skipping a beat, I was already in my car and on my way to Trader Joes. I resisted the urge to go shopping cart happy and tried to stick to just a few basic items I would need to survive.
Since we’ve been having such toasty weather lately, I felt the NEED to buy romaine lettuce. Knowing that I already had a bunch of pasta at home, I gravitated towards a small wedge of Parmesan cheese, a bag of kale, and a pack of hot Italian sausage. The rest of my cart included a few random items such as onions, a pack of green beans, a bag of frozen corn, and a bag of frozen seafood mix. Now I feel MUCH more equipped to mix and match some ingredients to last us through the remaining weeks.
Yesterday, I spotted the baby carrots and bacon I already had in the fridge. Because it was yet another super hot day, I decided to put my newly purchased romaine lettuce and Parmesan cheese to good use. When I make salads for just me and Joe, I like to be lazy about it. This means, I usually scatter chopped lettuce and sliced baby carrots on two plates, to act as the “base.”
Then I add a protein. Usually it’s shredded Costco rotisserie chicken, sliced deli turkey meat, or a can of tuna. This time it was three slices of bacon, snipped up into bite-size pieces before they got a good sizzle in a pan.
The crispy cooked bacon got fished right out of the hot pan and scattered directly on top of the lettuce and carrots.
Then I grabbed my vegetable peeled and shaved off some nice thin slivers of Parmesan cheese to add a nutty salty bite, and a touch of gourmet.
Now I’ve seen some recipes for “Bacon salad” where you use the bacon drippings to make the actual salad dressing. But I dunno, maybe it’s because I was already so hot, and I wanted to leave out some of the fat, I opted to ditch that idea and make a simple vinaigrette using olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and agave instead. I made just enough dressing to coat two salads. Sometimes I like to make extra dressing and save it in my fridge, but this time, I wasn’t in the mood.
After a drizzling of dressing, the salads were ready to eat in the heat.
This simple salad has lots of flavor, crunch, and color. The smoky bacon, salty Parmesan cheese, and mustard vinaigrette work so well together, against the refreshing crisp lettuce and sweet crunchy carrots. You can jazz it up and add more things to it of course, such as avocado if you had it, or even chopped chicken, to make it a more substantial meal. We were completely satisfied with our salads the way they were. Joe and I kicked back on the couch, watched “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel, and enjoyed our light no fuss Summer time meal.
- 1 ½ heads of romaine hearts, chopped
- ½ cup baby carrots, sliced
- 3 strips of bacon, cut into bite size pieces
- Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons agave or honey
- Assemble plates with chopped lettuce and sliced carrots. Cook bacon until browned and crisp. Fish pieces out of the hot pan and straight on top of the lettuce. Top with the Parmesan cheese shavings.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and agave until well combined. Drizzle over the salad and serve.