Let me start by raving about this vinaigrette. It is absolutely amazing. We made this salad in our recent “Summer in Nantucket” class, and it was really the star on the plate when served. We wanted more — a lot more. Of course, you can’t go too far wrong with crisp Bibb lettuce, arugula, grape tomatoes, bacon and fresh spring peas. The teaching chef also recommends using bacon fat in the dressing in place of some of the olive oil to give the flavor an additional boost. There is really nothing like a cold, fresh salad on a hot summer evening. I will be making this vinaigrette again this evening — we just can’t stop thinking about how much we enjoyed it.
SUMMER HOUSE SALAD (Serves 4)
- 6 slices, bacon cut crosswise into thin strips
- 2 t. Dijon mustard
- 3 T. apple cider vinegar
- 2 T. maple syrup
- 1 T. minced shallot
- 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 c. arugula or other spicy salad greens
- 1/2 c. fresh peas, blanched and chilled
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 T. fresh herbs (such as dill, basil, chives, and tarragon) lightly chopped
- To a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon. Cook bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes, and remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together Dijon, vinegar, maple syrup, and shallot. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Divide salad among chilled plates, neatly mounding the green leaves in the center of each plate. Scatter vegetables and bacon over the top and serve immediately.
~ from Sur la Table ~