Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Roasted Apple Salad with Bacon and Mixed Greens
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...No feast would be complete without rabbit food and this salad, with a slight change or two, will be a part of our Thanksgiving dinner. It is beautiful to look at, and the juxtaposition of sweet roasted apples with bitter greens and salty bacon create a dish with layered flavors that I hope will add interest and sophistication to our holiday table. I make this salad often using the recipe that appears below. The Silver Fox comes from German stock and dressings made with bacon drippings and vinegar were part of his childhood. Not surprisingly, he loves this salad and its warm, salty dressing. I'm a fan of the roasted apples and bitter greens. It is a marriage made in heaven and it will be wonderful with the cider marinated pork I plan to serve as our main course. All of the elements of the salad can be readied early in the day, but they can't be combined until just before serving. If you plan to use the bacon dressing, the drippings must be warmed before they are combined with vinegar. The salad can also be dressed with oil and vinegar if you prefer something simpler. I really think you'll enjoy this salad and I hope you'll give it a try. It adds great color and taste to a meal and it is something that you don't often see. Here's the recipe.
Roasted Apples with Bacon and Mixed Greens...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Sunset magazine
2 large apples (Braeburn or Fuji), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
2 medium shallots, very thinly sliced and separated into rings
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
4 slices thick-cut maple-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
2 medium bunches frisée lettuce, tough outer leaves removed
3 Belgian endive, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine apples, olive oil, syrup, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat, then transfer apple slices to a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir, then continue to cook until golden brown and tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Set aside.
2) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine shallots and vinegar. Set aside.
3) In a heavy frying pan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp and brown, about 7 minutes; drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of accumulated bacon fat and return pan to low heat. Remove shallots from vinegar, reserving shallots, and add vinegar to hot bacon fat, whisking until dressing is emulsified.
4) Arrange frisée and endive in a bowl and add apples, bacon pieces, and shallots. Pour warm dressing over greens and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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