A while back I came across this recipe for a dandelion green salad with hot bacon dressing. It is awesome for two reasons: First, who knew dandelion greens could be so delicious? Anything peppery, mustardy, zippy–I am into it. Second, hot bacon dressing is not just something born out of an internet fever dream. It is a lifestyle.
Ever since I moved to California and
discovered kale became a stereotype, restaurant salads just haven’t cut it for me anymore. If I wanted a glass of water, I would have ordered it instead of having nature pump it through the sickly pale vesicles of iceberg lettuce. Wait what, this is romaine? OK well, it’s all the same to me now. I need the hard stuff. The stuff that is going to give me lockjaw if I eat it raw. Arugula and dandelion greens and spinach and all the really green yum yums are great. But for me, it’s the greens that could stand to be cooked, but aren’t, that know the way to my heart. Kale, for me, in dino or curly form or–gasp–both at the same time–is the pinnacle. And hot bacon dressing is the key to wilting it just enough to get someone more punishment-averse to eat it.
So last night we needed dinner, and here is what we had. A mix of dino and curly kale. A bunch of asparagus. A shallot. Some bacon. Some cheese. Some leftover quinoa. And condiments.
The recipe is this: Put the kale in a bowl. Come on, make it nice, chop it up first. OK, now make the bacon. Sautee the asparagus and shallots in olive oil, or in the bacon fat if you’re feeling sequential/brave. I added dijon and black pepper, and on second viewing of the above recipe, I could’ve stood to add a bit of balsamic. Break up the bacon and dump it along with the veggies, bacon fat, and a little more olive oil, onto the kale. Sprinkle as much quinoa as you have or want. Toss it. Grate garlic cheddar (or whatever) on top. Also it occurs to me that sunflower seeds would probably be a good idea here if you’ve got ’em.
It does help, though, to follow up the salad with some pretzel salted caramel ice cream, as we did.