This recipe is based off a dish that my grandma used to make. My maternal grandparents lived in southern Indiana in a town called Evansville. It’s just north of the border and basically in Kentucky–a very southern place. For example, my grandma had a little black dog named Bull when I was growing up, but it was not a one syllable name when she pronounced. When she said it, it was something more akin to Boo-Uhl.
By the time I came around my Grandparents no longer kept much of a farm, but my mother has told me plenty of stories of what it was like for her growing up: endless weekend work in the garden for her and her sisters, tending the rabbits, that sort of thing. It also sounds from these stories like every meal they ate involved bacon fat. As a lover of all things porcine, that sounds great to me, but not everyone seems to think that it’d make a good salad dressing (my girlfriend included). I assure you it is delicious. It has all the flavors of a BLT, one of those glorious summer dishes that can pull you right out of a winter funk if properly applied. It’s also a great way to use some of the huge mess of greens that your winter garden will produce–my lettuce and arugula are already germinating. Enjoy!
Wilted Greens with Hot Bacon Dressing
4 cups greens or lettuce
2 green onions, chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
2 thick bacon slices, crumbled
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
2 tablespoons melted bacon drippings
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Start by frying the bacon until it is crispy enough and then remove it to drain. Save two tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan.
While the bacon is frying, you can get the rest of your chopping done. Pile up a bowl of whatever your preferred salad greens are. Traditionally, this dish is made with lettuce, but I prefer to add some baby spinach, kale, mustard, that sort of thing. Any salad greens will do just fine.
Slice up the green onions, roma tomato, and hard boiled egg and set them aside–they go on after the dressing.
Once the bacon is done and removed from the pan, you can start the dressing. Though if you don’t want the bacon fat to sizzle and pop like crazy, you might want to let it cool for a few minutes before you start the dressing. I usually just go for it and deal with the popping–it only lasts a few second.
To make the dressing add the apple cider vinegar to the reserved bacon fat over heat. Add the honey if you desire and a few turns of fresh black pepper. Bring this to a boil and stir to ensure that it is combining well. Once everything is combined, pour it hot over your greens. It will cause some wilting, but that’s the dish.
Toss the salad to distribute the dressing and then top with green onion, tomato, hard-boiled egg, and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.