Country Caesar Salad

Country Caesar Salad

When you get your hands on a pack of Benton’s Bacon, you need to treat it like it’ll be the last time you’ll ever taste bacon. Fry a few strips for a BLT and save the fat. Add a tablespoon of the fat to a pan of scrambled eggs. Maybe bottle some of the fat for a fragrant perfume. Call it Eau de Piglet.

The point is Benton’s Bacon is not only the filet mignon of bacon but it’s also hard to come by in your local grocery store. Lucky for me I’ve been able to score a couple of slices from Harvey’s Market in DC’s Union Market.

What makes Benton’s Bacon so special? From the immediate gust of hickory smoke hitting your nose upon opening a pack to the incredibly hearty slices that don’t shrink when you fry them up, Benton’s bacon is to be appreciated.

Now with all that talk about bacon I bet you didn’t think I was about to present a salad recipe. Like I said previously, you’ll want to use every bit of Benton’s Bacon when you get your hands on a pack. When left with a few tablespoons of fat one weekend I decided to have fun with my Caesar dressing recipe.  Add a couple of drops and you’ve got a deliciously smoky, bacon-y Country Caesar salad.

Country Caesar Salad

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Ingredients

  • Caesar Dressing

  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 3 anchovies finely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of bacon fat
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • Cornbread Croutons

  • About 2 cups cubed leftover cornbread
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 3 cups of thinly sliced raw collard greens

Instructions

For the croutons, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

You can whisk the following steps by hand but I opted to use a small food processor.

Place the eggs in a small food processor and turn on low. Slowly add the olive oil and then the bacon fat. The mixture will begin to emulsify or thicken slightly. Once your mixture begins to look like dressing add the garlic, anchovies, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Taste to see if it’s salty enough for your liking. If you’re satisfied, then add the lemon juice. Set dressing aside.

To prepare the croutons, place the cornbread on a large cookie sheet and drizzle the olive oil and parmesan cheese on top of the bread. Toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly browned.

Toss the collard greens with the dressing and add the cooled croutons. Serve with a few shaved pieces of parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!

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