It occurred to me as I pondered over lunch and near empty cupboards that I had the makings of a great salad at my fingertips. I looked out the kitchen window at the garden and realized that it was finally time to start a bit of harvesting. The kale plantings had overcome the aphid population after all (it had been off to a painfully slow start), the swiss chard was large and leafy, and the spinach was about to go to seed. Oddly enough, there was a pound of good bacon in the fridge and pecans in the freezer. And so, a marvelous salad I did make. I shall share with you now my recipe for a scrumptious bacon and greens salad in case you get a hankering for your own:
Greens to fill a bowl
3-4 eggs, hard-boiled
Chopped onion (to taste)
Dried cranberries, or fresh strawberries
2 handfuls nuts, halved or chopped (about 1 cup)
Reserved bacon grease
Apple Cider Vinegar (or any vinegar)
2-3 TBSP sugar
Start frying your bacon to a nice well-done crisp in your pan. You will be reserving the drippings.
Put three-four eggs on the stov to boil – use your preferred method because there seems to be a dozen and a half right ways to boil an egg. (As for me, I prefer to cover my eggs with cold water, bring to a rolling boil, turn the heat off, cover the pan, and let sit 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water before peeling.) And as for fresh eggs, well, they’re simply a bear to peel sometimes and that’s just how it is because I’ve tried every trick in the book, as they say, and no method works consistently for me. So be it.
Tear large handfuls of kale, swiss chard, and spinach (really any fresh greens will do) by hand into small pieces and place into your salad bowl. Salt and pepper those greens.
Place a couple handfuls of pecans (or walnuts, or almonds, or peanuts for all I care- this really is a very versatile salad) on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. This gives them a lovely crunch.
Mind those eggs that they don’t over-boil
Mind that bacon that it doesn’t turn black- when done, remove and crumble with your fingers over the greens. Don’t try to be proper and cut it. Your hands will get bacon greasy. There are worse things.
Chop 1/4 of a large onion (or 1/2 of a small onion, or the whole silly onion if you like onions- you get my drift) and add them to the bowl.
About this time, give or take a few minutes depending on how fast you are, or if like me you get called away by one of the children a small million times while preparing this wonderous meal- About this time the eggs will be ready for peeling and chopping. Add them as well.
Sprinkle with toasted pecans. Be sure to sample one or two first to savor their warm, crisp pleasantness.
Grab your nearest half pint mason jar (or any container with a lid). Combine (and these measurements are quite approximate) two-three TBSP of sugar, a half cup of bacon grease which is hopefully still warm, and two TBSP of vinegar. I used apple cider vinegar, but once again, use what you have. Give it all a good shake to mix. If the dressing is no longer warm, warm it in the microwave. You want a warm dressing to slightly wilt the salad and pull all the ingredients together. MMMmmm.
Pour dressing over salad and toss lightly.
Sprinkle with dried cranberries or fresh sliced strawberries.
And there you have a salad that doesn’t feel like a punishment to consume. In fact, try not going back for seconds.
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