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Monday, October 11, 2010

Wilted Arugula Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Wilted Arugula  and Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing 1

Lately, I've noticed a steady increase in hits for my recipe for Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing. While it's one of my favorite salads, and I think the photos are pretty darn nice even taken with my old camera, I think its recent popularity is because of all the Mad Men love? I don't watch the show myself so someone will have to tell me how the salad features in the series. Does Don Draper eat a lot of it or something?

I love mixed lettuce salads, but they can be pretty expensive. So recently when Fresh&Easy had a sale, two bags of arugula lettuce salad for $3, I bought two. I ate one bag with my usual balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing, but then figured maybe I should gussy up the other for the blog.

I last made this wilted lettuce salad three years ago, but that early photo just wasn't up to par. Of course, I also have a bad habit of hanging on to too many photos anyway so there it sat in my queue year after year after year. You can see how horrendous that photo looks at the end of this post. While updating the photos for my Angel Hair Pasta with Balsamic Chicken, Bacon, and Diced Tomatoes recipe, I figured it was time I finally blogged this recipe too.

You could use this same dressing for a baby spinach salad too. The key is to use a few tablespoons of bacon grease to make into a vinaigrette and then to quickly toss while it's still warm. The vinegar and brown sugar nicely mellow out the fattiness of the bacon grease. It's obviously not something you want to eat on a regular basis so once every three years sounds about right. :P

Wilted Arugula  and Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing 2

Wilted Arugula Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

For two servings, you'll need:
1 large bag of arugula or mixed lettuce salad
1 tomato, thinly sliced
4 to 6 pieces of bacon, diced

For the vinaigrette, you'll need:
3 tblsp hot bacon grease
2 tblsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp dijon or spicy brown mustard

Wash and drain the lettuce. Thinly slice one tomato. Toss and set aside.

Dice the bacon and fry until crispy.

Wilted Arugula  and Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing 3

Spoon about 3 tblsp of bacon grease into a bowl. Add 2 tblsp red wine vinegar, 2 tsp brown sugar, 2 tsp dijon mustard. Whisk. Taste. Adjust if necessary.

Wilted Arugula  and Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing 4

While the vinaigrette is still warm, drizzle over the salad. Add the fried bacon and toss until thoroughly mixed.

Wilted Arugula  and Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing 5

That's it. Does adding greasy bacon to healthy lettuce cancel each other out?

Wilted Arugula  and Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing 6

Who cares? Because once you saw the word "bacon," you know you're going to enjoy it.

Umm, yes, here's that old photo. Technically, it was a wilted watercress and lettuce salad with warm bacon dressing.

Wilted Arugula  and Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing 7

Which I ate with a homemade arugula and bacon pizza.

Wilted Arugula  and Lettuce Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing 8 Pizza

Sometimes I keep these old photos around just to remind me of how much I've learned in three years. Just keep snapping away! If my photography can grow by leaps and bounds, so can yours! And even if it doesn't, the food itself still tastes just as good. It's just visually more pleasing now, but my tummy doesn't know the difference and neither will yours. Besides, I said, "Bacon"!

Other salad recipes you might like:
Caesar Salad with Chicken and Croutons
Waldorf Salad

1 year ago today, Tillamook Cheese Factory - Tillamook - Oregon.
2 years ago today, Gaios, Paxos Island - Greece.
3 years ago today, letters from lil' sis.


  1. The salad looks yummy... will have to try it.
    As for your question on Mad Men, the characters often go out to dinner at steakhouses. What else goes better with a 20 oz porterhouse than a blue cheese wedge salad?

  2. omigosh! this sounds like my kinda salad. the word bacon caught my eyes indeed :D and i don't update my old posts too...reminding myself how much i...sucked :D

  3. Thao,
    Ah, I did wonder about that. I still haven't ever seen Mad Men so I don't know what the hype is about. Besides John Hamm, of course. :P

    The word bacon catches everyone's eye. Ha!


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