Cucumber Wrap Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese


Okay, so I have to state for the record right here that this is EXACTLY the kind of recipe I usually run away from as fast as possible.  It looks hard to make, and it involves inserting little strips of carrots into the center just so, and the cucumber-made-into-a-bowl part looks fraught with peril.   

But those two strips of bacon.  They kept calling my name.  And finally one day I gave in to temptation and purchased a cucumber.  There’s only so much one woman can take before the bacon wins, and so I put it on one of our Friday Night Lights menus.

And guess what?  This was pretty much as easy as it gets.  You peel thin strips of the cucumber with a vegetable peeler or a mandoline…make the strips as thin as you can, because the thinner they are the easier they will turn into these little bottomless bowls.  I have an OXO Good Grips Mandoline Slicerand I love it…just be SUPER careful if you are using one, because those babies are sharp.  The moisture of the cucumber will make the ends stick together once you have fashioned them into these little bowls, which will take you about 2 minutes.  I used two strips per bowl, just for sturdiness.  

 

In the meantime, cut some bacon in half and cook it up however you like to…I always cook bacon for about 10-12 minutes in a 400 degree oven and it comes out just perfect.  Yes, you do have to cut up a carrot into little strips, but with bacon on the horizon, I was willing to cut up carrots.  Tear up some lettuce and toss it with your favorite dressing (a balsamic vinaigrette works great with this recipe), some crumbled blue cheese and some chopped pecans.  Or walnuts…or whatever catches your fancy.  Now take your favorite tongs, scoop up some of the lettuce mixture and nestle it into your cucumber bowls.  Fill them right up.  When you are done, stand two pieces of bacon and some of those carrot strips into the lettuce mixture.

Now stand back and look modest. 

The moral of the story: Never try and resist bacon.  It always ends up happily ever after.

Cucumber Wrap Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese

Cucumber Wrap Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese

Ingredients

2 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 medium cucumbers, peeled
3 cups mixed baby greens
2 cooked thick-cut bacon slices, halved
1/3 cup shredded or matchstick carrots
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Salad dressing to taste (any sort of vinaigrette will work great)

Directions

1. Place chopped pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan. 2. Bake at 350º for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Let cool 30 minutes or until completely cool. 3. Using a mandoline slicer or a vegetable peeler, cut cucumbers lengthwise into very thin strips just until seeds are visible. Discard cucumber core. 4. Shape largest cucumber slices into 4 (2 1/2- to 2 3/4-inch-wide) rings. Wrap evenly with remaining cucumber slices. Stand rings upright on 4 serving plates. 5. Fill each cucumber ring evenly with mixed greens, next 3 ingredients, and toasted pecans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle each salad with vinaigrette.

Recipe adapted from My Recipes

Yum

Comments

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  1. vanillasugar says:

    ooohhh i love that you put pecans in there.
    i love everything about this. can i have 5 please? lol

  2. That presentation is just adorable! I would definitely make it just for that alone. But I know what you mean about carrot sticks…sometimes they're just too much to ask for. This seems worth it, though.

  3. Melissa @IWasBornToCook says:

    This is a great looking salad! And I never try to resist bacon…it's just pointless :)

  4. Jessica @ My World - Made By Hand says:

    This is so much fun {and so is your picture}. I'm your newest follower from Be Different, Act Normal.

  5. FramedCooks says:

    I know, isn't it adorable looking? I almost felt bad knocking it down in the eating process…but not bad enough HOT to eat it. It's bacon, after all. :)

  6. Christi says:

    I love this…so much that I fixed it tonight for supper when we had guest over. It was definitely a WOW factor of the meal. Just wondering if there is any special trick to the cucumber slices sticking together? I know that you mention above the moisture will make them stick together, but mine did not do that. I had to use a toothpick to keep mine together. Could you give me some pointers??

    • I found another web site that said they cut up half way on one end and half way down on the other and end and hook them togother

  7. FramedCooks says:

    Hi Christi! So glad you like them – they ARE dramatic, aren't they? I think the key to getting them to stick is to make the slices as thin as possible – almost transparent. The thicker they are, the less pliant and flexible. I used a mandoline, which you can adjust to slice things super-thin. At the end of the day, I don't think a toothpick is a bad back-up plan though. The other thing you could try is to mush up a small bit of the cheese and see if that works as a kind of glue…but I think your best bet is to get them as thin as possible. Hope this helps!

  8. This is beautiful!! Can't wait to try it. Is it something you serve as a side dish, or would it work as a finger food for a buffet?

  9. Kate Morgan Jackson says:

    You can definitely serve it as a side dish (it would be great with grilled steak), or as a very dramatic first course. Finger food might be hard, as it kind of collapses once you cut into the cute cucumber bowl. :)

  10. How do you keep the salad from falling out when you transfer the salad wrap from serving dish to personal plate?

    • I use a spatula to slide under the whole thing (using the other hand to hold it together) and then carefully put on a plate. And of course, you can also assemble them right on serving plates…even easier!

  11. You inspired me to try this. It didn’t exactly turn out the same, probably because I don’t have a vegetable peeler of any sort. So I had to get creative and I made mine in cupcake liners, instead. You can see them here (I put your picture on my blog and hyperlinked it back to here):

    http://redonblack.weebly.com/1/post/2013/05/mini-salad-with-a-twist.html

  12. Question: I’d like to make cucumber rings ahead (say 4-5 hours ahead) and fill with greens when serving. Is there any reason not to do this? Will the cucumber keep its’ color and firmness if done ahead?

    • That should work just fine, especially if you keep it in the fridge. Cukes don’t lose color, and if refrigerated should keep their consistency very well.

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