This is the winning recipe from Sugardale Bac-on. It was created Olga Watkins, who is a bacon lover and Pittsburgh local. I thought this salad had great flavors and you can tell that it was build around the bacon. Everything in it complemented it well.

Bacon and Blueberry Salad

Servings: 4

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Sugardale Peppered Bacon
  • 2 packages (approx. 12-16 ounces) baby spinach
  • 1/3 pound piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced

Smoked Chipotle Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked chipotle jam/jelly
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • The juice of 1/2 a fresh lime
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º on convection setting if possible
  2. Layout package of Sugardale Peppered Bacon on one or two cookie sheets; do not overlap pieces of bacon
  3. Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes (cooking times will vary depending on your oven
  4. When bacon is cooked to crisp but not burnt, remove from oven and place on plates lined with paper towels to drain excess grease
  5. Use a vegetable peeler to shave pieces of parmesan cheese into a small bowl and transfer to refrigerator until ready to assemble salads
  6. Rinse blueberries in a colander, picking out any smashed or uneatable blueberries and any stems, set aside to drain
  7. Rinse red bell pepper, remove stem and core, slice into short, thin julienne slices, approximately 1/4 inch each
  8. Rinse red onion, remove skin and outermost layer, slice in half then thinly slice one half of red onion, as thin as possible
  9. Divide baby spinach into equal potions onto four dinner plates
  10. Lay out several pieces (8 to 10) of sliced onion onto each salad, spread around evenly on bed of spinach
  11. Lay out bell pepper slices (8 to 10) onto each salad, spread around evenly on bed of spinach
  12. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of pecan pieces evenly onto salad base
  13. Add approximately 1/4 cup of blueberries, spread evenly around salad base
  14. Dived shaved parmesan evenly onto the four salad bases, spreading shaved parmesan pieces evenly out onto each salad
  15. Lay cooked bacon pieces on top of salad bases, crisscrossed or in another decorative manner
  16. Drizzle with 2-3 ounces of Smoked Chipotle Vinaigrette Dressing onto each salad and serve immediately

Note: Complete vegetable and cheese preparation and make dressing in advance, up to one hour before serving. Allow dressing to sit out at room temp and assemble salads while bacon is cooking so as to be able to serve salad topped with warm bacon.

Dressing Preparation:

Combine salad dressing ingredients, except for salt and pepper, in a mixing bowl and thoroughly whisk until sugar and jam is completely dissolved and dressing isn’t separating. Add salt and pepper, a little at a time, to suit your personal taste.

Dressing Note: If dressing is made in advance, whisk thoroughly again before drizzling over salad. Excess dressing can be stored in refrigerator for future salads. Dressing will be best if allowed to sit at room temperature for approximately 30-60 minutes before serving.

Recipe and photo by Olga Watkins

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2 Responses to Bacon and Blueberry Salad with Smoked Chipotle Vinaigrette Dressing

  1. Chef Tom Minchella says:

    This recipe sounds great. I never would have thought to try bacon and blueberries.
    Maybe try this “Salted buttered Caramel Bacon Gelato”.
    http://blog.mckendricks.com/2010/09/heaven-salted-buttered-caramel-bacon-gelato/

  2. [...] the title of “Grand BAC-ON Champion” went to Olga Watkins, a Pittsburgh native. Her Bacon and Blueberry Salad wowed the judges, which included TopChef contestant Spike Mendelsohn and Food Network’s Claire [...]

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