Posted by: timscooking | April 3, 2010

Ina’s Cape Cod Chopped Salad

It’s the Saturday before Easter and many folks will be spending the day cooking, cleaning and preparing for an Easter Sunday gathering. About 5 o’clock, you realize that you hadn’t eaten lunch and now dinner time is upon you. I’ve found that a large, what I call, “everything salad” is always a fast solution. This one is a salad that I originally found in Ina Garten’s “Back to Basics” book. I’ve made it many times and enjoy because it’s ingredients are usually in my pantry and refrigerator and it has bacon! The book lists this in her lunch section, but the wife and I usually have this for dinner, just adjusting the portion size.

As with most salad recipes, feel free to improvise and substitute, I didn’t have arugula or Niman Ranch bacon nor did I have any oranges in the house, but I did have lettuce, thick-cut bacon and also fresh orange juice for the dressing. I also had some hard-cooked eggs left over from making egg salad so those went on the salad also. Everything can be prepared and ready to assemble while the bacon is in the oven. I also dressed the lettuce separately from the other ingredients to insure that, if there were leftovers, the lettuce, dressing and other ingredients could be packed individually and mixed just before eating.

This is a great house husband dish that you can serve any day of the week, pack for a picnic or outdoor concert and could be easily doubled for drop in company. Yes, even the guys will like it, after all, did I mention it has bacon?

Cape Cod Chopped Salad

adapted from “Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics”       

  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, such as Niman Ranch
  • 8 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons good apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup good olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and lay the bacon slices on the rack. Roast the bacon for about 20 minutes, until nicely browned. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, apple, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese.

For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, mustard, maple syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Chop the bacon in large pieces and add it to the salad. Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well. Serve immediately.

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