I can’t believe how much I love this salad.
Let’s be real, salads usually don’t have the wow factor that something like cookies or pies have (at least not for me). But there is something about this one that makes it stand out against most salads. You can even ask my husband, who was a witness to me “mmm” after almost every bite.
Perhaps the key to this salad’s awesomeness is that it’s loaded with bacon and Parmesan cheese. I mean, hello, bacon plus cheese seems to equal heaven, even on a salad. 😉 Maybe it’s really all about the homemade croutons. Have you ever taken old bread and pan fried it in some bacon fat? You must do this. I mean it. This was my first time and it certainly will not be my last. I’m surprised any of them actually made it to the salad because I kept snacking on them. They are uh-mazing. Again, because bacon, which might be kind of cheating, but I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.
I don’t always make homemade salad dressing because, quite frankly, it’s usually too much work. But this Parmesan vinaigrette is not hard to make and it tastes unlike any that I’ve had from the store. Delish.
The original recipe called for butter lettuce and my grocery store didn’t have it (or I couldn’t find it). So I grabbed what looked good and it was delicious with the rest of the ingredients. I think any lettuce will work great here as long as it’s fresh and tasty. Fresh dill and radishes aren’t something that I gravitate towards cooking with but they really add great flavor to this salad. Yup, I’d say that this salad is the perfect summer salad.
Somehow, with this list of ingredients that included radish, I didn’t end up with radish burps for the rest of the afternoon. I’m not sure if bacon is the natural enemy of radish burps or something, but I’m not complaining. 🙂
Summer Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette Recipe
(About 4 to 6 servings)
Ingredients for the Parmesan Vinaigrette:
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
Ingredients for the Salad:
- 6 slices of bacon
- 4 to 6 slices of bread, chopped (I used a sour dough loaf from the grocery store bakery.)
- 2 heads of lettuce, chopped
- 1 head of endive, sliced
- 4 to 6 radishes, finely sliced
- Parmesan cheese, shaved (using a vegetable peeler)
- sprinkling of fresh dill leaves
Directions for the Parmesan Vinaigrette:
- In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, vinegar, honey, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. (Note, the original recipe said to mix the dressing in a food processor. I opted not to do that because I didn’t feel like washing it. I don’t think using a food processor is necessary but if you prefer a smoother dressing, then I recommend giving it a try.)
Directions for the Salad:
- In a skillet on medium heat, cook the bacon. Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel to cool.
- In the same skillet still on medium heat, with the bacon grease still in it, add the chopped bread. Stir frequently to cook them on each side until they’re browned. Your goal is to make croutons. Remove them to a paper towel.
- Chop the cooked and cooled bacon.
- In a big bowl, add the chopped lettuce, sliced endive, sliced radishes, Parmesan cheese pieces, chopped bacon, croutons, dill leaves, and Parmesan vinaigrette. Mix everything together gently. Taste it and add salt and pepper, to taste.
Adopted from: The Original Dish