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Bacon Butter Blue Salad Recipe

This blue cheese and bacon salad recipe originated earlier this summer when I was at the Carmel Valley Ranch for Dole’s Salad Summit.   I’ve been meaning to publish this recipe for a while now but never got around to it. Since I’m trying to publish more salad recipes, I figured now was a great time to get this one done.

We all know that I’ve been a bit obsessed with blue cheese lately.  I just really like good blue cheese, what can I say.  But considering I developed this recipe in July, I guess you could say this started it all.

This salad is very simple but very flavorful. It even won the award for “Best Flavor Combination” from our chef instructors at the Salad Summit.  Frankly, I was just a little surprised seeing how all the bloggers made such tasty dishes.  BUT it reinforces my belief that you can’t go wrong with keeping it simple…. AND using a lot of bacon and blue cheese.

Bacon and Blue Cheese Salad

I feel like we’ve talked at length about blue cheese already (see here and here).  Same holds true for this recipe.  Key take-away:  use good quality blue cheese.  You don’t have to go with Point Reyes as I’ve done here – it’s what they provided at Carmel Valley Ranch because 1) we were in California and 2) they don’t skimp on anything over there!  You can easily use Valdeón, Stilton or Maytag.  Or your own favorite high quality blue cheese.

This recipe of course calls for using Dole’s tender lettuces, but if you can’t find them yet in a grocery store near you – they still are rolling out distribution in some markets – a nice butter lettuce would do fine.  You just want something soft and buttery.  A lettuce that will provide a tasty mild canvas for the rest of the ingredients.

Probably not a surprise, but I really like using bacon on salads. It’s very flavorful and provides a nice crunch for a salad.  I recommend using very high quality bacon such as Neuske’s.  You can usually get it at specialty delis.  Their meats are ethically raised and their bacon has a very delicious yet delicate smokey flavor.

Finally, a note on the croutons.  If you’re not into making them from scratch, you could use store-bought.  However, as with everything made at home, it is much more tasty when you make it yourself.  They are very light and slightly crispy.  I always make these when I’m making salads at home.

Tips:

  • My favorite way to prepare boiled eggs is to set the eggs in a pot of cold water over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, set timer for 10 minutes.  When done, rinse with cool water, peel and use.
  • The dressing, boiled eggs and bacon can be prepared a day in advance if needed.  They all hold well in the fridge.
  • If you normally purchase sour dough bread, start collecting the heels and storing them in the freezer.  They hold for months in the freezer and then you always have bread heels ready for croutons.

Now, on to the recipes…

Yield: 4 dinner salads

Bacon Butter Blue Salad Recipe

This highly flavorful blue cheese and bacon salad recipe also features boiled eggs, homemade croutons and a light, tangy sherry vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Pinch of kosher salt and black pepper

Croutons:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 slices or heels of sourdough bread, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama seasoning (sub kosher salt if needed)

Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  • 2 heads Dole tender lettuce, cores removed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Point Reyes bleu cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 recipe of sherry vinaigrette
  • 1 recipe of croutons

Method:

Set the eggs to boil first. While those are boiling, cook the bacon, croutons and prepare the vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette:  Place all ingredients in a jar or squeeze bottle and shake well before adding to greens.

Croutons:

  1. Add butter to a small skillet and heat over medium high heat.
  2. Once it’s heated, add the bread and seasoning.
  3. Mix well at first to make sure the butter coats all the pieces of bread. This is very important because the bread will absorb the butter very quickly.
  4. Allow to cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often but allowing the outside of the croutons to brown and crisp.
  5. Remove from skillet and place on a  plate until ready to add to salad.

Finally, start assembling the salad:

  1. Toss greens with most of the vinaigrette.
  2. Mix in bacon, green onions, bleu cheese and croutons.
  3. Top with eggs and extra dressing, if desired.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Prep:20 min

Total:20 min

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