A warm bacon vinaigrette dresses crisp romaine and sweet broccolette for a hearty, flavorful salad. Optional toasted hazelnuts and creamy blue cheese add texture and tang to the combination.
This salad makes a terrific starter or side dish for a fall or winter meal.
|1 bunch||Earthbound Farm Organic Broccolette, about 8 ounces (trimmed and cut into thirds)|
|6 slices||thick-cut bacon|
|3 tablespoons||red wine vinegar|
|1 tablespoon||extra-virgin olive oil|
|2 teaspoons||Dijon mustard|
|Freshly ground black pepper|
|2||Earthbound Farm Organic Romaine Hearts (chopped, about 5 cups)|
|1/4 cup||chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)|
|1/2 cup||crumbled blue cheese (optional)|
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Blanch the broccolette until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the broccolette into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and set its bright color.
When the broccolette is cool, drain thoroughly, and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels; set aside at room temperature. The broccolette can be blanched in advance, then covered and refrigerated, up to 2 days before using.
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a double layer of paper towels to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the skillet. Heat the fat over medium heat and add the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add the broccolette and cook, stirring constantly, until the broccolette is heated through, about 2 minutes.
Place the romaine in a large bowl. Add the contents of the skillet and toss until combined. Crumble the bacon over the mixture and then sprinkle the salad with the hazelnuts and blue cheese, if you like. Serve immediately.