Arugula with Bacon, Noors Hollander, & Pecans

Even though it’s wet and bone cold here in San Francisco, (people who are really in cold climates, go ahead and insert your giggles here) I am insistent on eating salads for dinner for a while. We ate so much overwhelmingly rich, albeit delicious, food over the Christamas Holiday, that my cravings for green have gotten out of control.

I once heard that California was the land of Salad For Dinner, and I feel so lucky to have been raised in that amazing and delicious land. Call me weird, but salad was always my favorite part of a meal as a kid, and nothing has changed. Granted, I grew up in a French family so didn’t have to suffer the iceberg lettuce salad drenched in thousand island dressing.

The salads of my youth consisted of butter, red leaf, or green leaf lettuce perhaps with a tomato or two, maybe a radish from time to time, but always to be tossed with a perfect vinaigrette made with fresh parsley, Dijon mustard, and a little bit of garlic and shallot. Today, my friends know that when they come to dinner there will always be a salad- sometimes it’s a whole meal, sometimes not, but it’s always present. This salad was born from a desire to enjoy the seasonal flavor of tart, crisp, local apples in my meal. Pairing apples with bacon and aged gouda (Noors Hollander) makes perfect sense, just like a second helping of this salad.

Arugula with Bacon, Noors Hollander, & Pecans

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 local organic apple sliced thinly
  • 1 oz Noors Hollander sliced thinly then chopped
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 2 strips good thick cut bacon (Vande Rose Duroc Bacon is the one for me)
  • 4 tablespoons good quality apple cider vinegar (I love Katz & Co. Gravenstein Apple Vinegar- YUM)
  • 1/3 cup excellent olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced shallots
  • salt and pepper to taste

Arugula with Bacon, Noors Hollander, & Pecans

  • INSTRUCTIONS
  • Cook bacon on a lined cookie sheet in a NON-PREHEATED 375º oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the degree of doneness you prefer.
  • Set shallots and a small pinch of salt into the vinegar to soften for 10 minutes.
  • Whisk olive oil into the vinegar/shallot mixture until emulsified. Then finish seasoning.
  • When bacon is done, blot excess grease with paper towels and save drippings (if you like) by straining through paper towel or coffee filter and placing in a jar.
  • Assemble salad, drizzle very lightly with vinaigrette, toss & eat.
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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Ilke December 30, 2010 at 3:28 AM

I am so glad to see a salad after all those cookies. :) Looks so fresh!

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sabrinamodel January 2, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Thanks Ilke. My belly felt the same way.

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Kimba's Kitchen December 30, 2010 at 6:18 AM

I totally understand that occasional craving for salad! And what a lovely salad you got here.. perfect to ease that craving! Leafy greens!!

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mollyparr December 30, 2010 at 9:11 AM

This sounds delicious! Salads have been on my mind a lot lately, too — all that rich holiday food has come back to haunt me. Salads are tricky in New England during this time of year, though. But I know I'll figure it out. Definitely something with the persimmons that are ripening on my counter.

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sabrinamodel January 2, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Do you still have kale right now? I love raw kale salads and recently have discovered raw shredded brussels sprouts. Just massage thinly sliced greens with salt and olive oil for a couple of minutes then add other ingredients and dress.

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Diethood -noun- The state of being on a diet... always! December 30, 2010 at 3:38 PM

I have to have a salad with my meal – one salad a day, for sure. That's what keeps me from overeating the bad foods :) .
I'd love to try this salad – I have all the ingredients at hand so it looks like a new year's eve lunch! :)

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sabrinamodel January 2, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Happy New Year. I hope you enjoyed the salad too.

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the constant hunger December 31, 2010 at 7:16 AM

You are definitely right about the vinaigrette being key in making a delicious salad. Lettuce is lettuce but when dressed with olive oil and shallots… It is indeed a meal. Happy new year!

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sabrinamodel January 2, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Can't even say vinaigrette without my mouth watering.

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anna January 2, 2011 at 6:10 AM

i was the same way with salads… from a very healthy family… when asked at a children's fashion show what my favorite food was I said, "red bell peppers".. everyone laughs to this day! i was destined to be a vegetarian and "amante" di salad… I also always make salads at dinners and I really appreciate all your posts dedicated to this course! BUON ANNO NUOVO!

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sabrinamodel January 2, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Buon Anno Nuovo, Anna. I loved your story.
Ciao
Sabrina

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Travel Food Phil January 24, 2011 at 8:30 AM

I completely agree Sabrina, after Cristmas a craving for a good salad as part of, or as the whole meal seems to take over to get away from all the rich food consumed over the holidays. I love the way you've found added all your favourite things toegther as well to make a delicious and healthy meal.

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sabrinamodel January 24, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Thanks Phil. I find there's a salad to fit anyone's taste. Last night, I had one with baby greens, carrots, daikon, pumkin seeds, ginger, sesame seeds, and yuzu vinaigrette. What's your favorite salad?

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