Waiting to be tossed
You can tell from the lighting in my photos that we are cooking when it is dark outside this time of year. Rather depressing. But this salad is bright and homey at the same time. We really like it.
The salad dressing is sweet and spicy, because it is made with Dijon mustard and maple syrup. It goes well with the apples and the bacon.
Only make this with real maple syrup. And look for extra-aged Gouda in the cheese section. Smoked bacon works best, but anything you have will do.
Italian Greens Salad with Sauteed Apple, Crispy Bacon, and Aged Gouda
(adapted from Fine Cooking, Dec 2016/Jan 2017)
1 8 oz bag of Italian Blend Salad Greens
(or 8 cups of cored and chopped escarole)
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 T. sherry vinegar
1 T. pure maple syrup
1 T. Dijon mustard
4 slices of bacon
1 large crisp apple, cored and sliced into wedges
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) coarsely grated, aged Gouda
salt and pepper to taste
In a large salad bowl, add the chopped greens.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard.
In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, to render out the fat, until crispy. Remove from the skillet to a paper towel to drain and cool.
Scrape the apples from the skillet over the greens, then break up the bacon into bite size bits over the apples, then grate the aged Gouda cheese over the top. Season with salt and pepper. (we didn't need anything but pepper due to saltiness of the bacon.)
At the table, add the dressing, then toss it together and serve.
If you want a more wilted salad, then you can add the dressing to the hot apples in the skillet, and then pour it over the greens, before adding the bacon and cheese. Season. Then toss together and serve.
Both ways are good.