Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Does a salad with bacon fat in the dressing count as a salad? Um... yes! As summer transitions into fall and the light summer salads get a little heartier, we all begin to crave a little more of that comfort food. And although I'm sure an arugula salad doesn't quite fit the bill, the delicious bacon-strawberry vinaigrette and the winter season pomegranates add a fall flare. If you haven't tried a "wilted salad" before, you're in for a real treat. I purchased an arugula spinach mix. But you could work it with either or both kinds of greens. It's nice to look at, and even better to eat. So what’s stopping you? Write down these ingredients and head to the store!
2 Packages of Arugula/Spinach
1 Container Gorgonzola
1 Package of Bacon (we like pepper bacon)
Strawberry Vinaigrette (Briannas Strawberry Blush Wine Vinaigrette is my favorite)
(This is the order I do things in, but really, it’s quite flexible.)
1. Begin your oh-so-tedious journey of taking all the seeds out of the pomegranate. I quarter it and go from there. (I ended up using 1 1/2 of the pomegranate seeds for the salad. This guestimate can of course vary to your liking.) Set aside the pomegranate seeds.
2. Cut up your pears into 1/4 inch thick slices. If you have a pan that will leave grill marks on your pan, great! If not you can use a barbeque. Or, you can just put them into a sauté pan, if neither above option is available; they just won’t be as pretty (tear).
3. Cook the pears for about 4 minutes on each side or until you see "grill marks" appear. Set the pears aside.
4. Put 5 (or more if you chose) pieces of bacon into a pan and cook them off to desired crispiness. I prefer them pretty crispy, to add a crunchy texture. But it’s totally your call.
5. Once the bacon is cooked, drain all about 1/4 cup bacon fat. Add the strawberry vinaigrette to your pan. If you're making more or less salad, the goal is to have a 2:1 ratio; two parts dressing to one part bacon fat. Cook it off until the mixture is hot, but not bubbling.
6. Assemble your salad by adding the pomegranate, the gorgonzola, grilled pears and cut up bacon. Once the salad is put together, drizzle the warm dressing over your salad. You can be pretty generous, but don’t drown it.
7. Serve and enjoy!