This warm bacon and cheese salad is the good kind of cheesy, just to get things straight right from the get-go. It’s the cheesy that comes from a little bit of cheese in almost every mouthful of this no messing around salad, which is a mixture of tender butter lettuce, a handful of your favorite nuts and a generous amount of teeny little cheese cubes, all topped with a warm bacon dressing. And because I can’t help myself, an extra mound of chopped crispy bacon right in the center of everyone’s serving. It’s the perfect side salad to grilled chicken or steak, and one of my favorite things to make when I have an extra hunk of cheese sitting around waiting to be made into something. Or when I get a craving for warm bacon dressing, which is often. Ready for some cheese-filled, bacon-covered deliciousness? Let’s make it!
Let’s start with the dressing, which is where most of the action is. It’s a conglomeration of bacon, vinegar, some chopped shallot, olive oil and just a pinch of sugar to give the whole thing a little sparkle. Cook up the bacon, scoop it out of the pan and add everything else in. Bring it to a simmer for about a minute, and that’s it! The key is to have the rest of the salad all ready, because you want to pour the dressing on while it is still warm. WARM SALAD DRESSING. Can I get an Amen?
The rest of the salad is torn pieces of butter or bibb lettuce, which is a gentle lettuce that doesn’t fight too much with the bold flavors of the dressing and the cheese. And speaking of the cheese, I like to use muenster cheese for this because it isn’t quite as salty…you are going to get plenty of salty deliciousness from the bacon. But you be you – if you like cheddar or swiss or whatever else you have hanging out in your fridge, give it a try. The key is to cut it in tiny cubes so you get just a little cheesiness in each bite.
Last but not least, I scatter a handful of nuts on top. I love to use candied peanuts or almonds with this, again to pair up the sweet with the salty. One you have all those ingredients assembled, drizzle each serving with some of that warm dressing. And then the bacon pieces that we started with way back at the start of the recipe? Mound them in the center of each plate. There is nothing happier than your very own mound of bacon on top of whatever you are about to eat.
Happy warm and wonderful salad!Print
- 1 head butter or bibb lettuce, rinsed and torn into pieces
- 4 ounces muenster or other cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup candied peanuts
- 6 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Divide lettuce, cheese and nuts among 4 plates so it is ready for the dressing.
- Cook bacon in a small skillet until crispy. Remove to drain on paper towels, leaving the drippings in the skillet.
- Add remaining ingredients to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Simmer for one minute.
- Drizzle dressing over the salad. Divide the bacon pieces among each plate (I like to mound them up in the middle) and serve!