Thursday, May 22, 2014

Apricot, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Green Salad with Apricot Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Using in season ingredients not only allows you to buy local produce, but maximizes the taste and freshness of your dishes.  Today, Chef Genny (the co author of this blog!) and I are doing a seasonal ingredient challenge!  Genny picked my challenge ingredient, which was apricots.
Although she may think she has me beat, I was able to put together my own version of the Whole Foods blog's Apricot Salad which turned out fantastic!  

Ingredients: (for four servings)

Apricot Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

  • Salad:
  • 2 fresh apricots
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 bags of escarole mix 
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 6 slices nitrite-free bacon, cooked and crumbled 
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 avocado
First, cut the bacon into lardons and cook it over medium heat in a skillet.  Crispy bacon tastes wonderful in a salad, and I cooked my bacon to be well done.
Once the bacon is completely cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the pieces to a paper towel to cool.
While the bacon is cooling, begin the Apricot Vinaigrette.  Add all of the ingredients into a small bowl, then whisk.

Take the escarole mix and add it into a large salad bowl.  Toss with the dressing until evenly and lightly coated.

Cut the avocado in half, and slice into bite sized pieces.  I prefer to slice the avocado while it is still in its skin and turn it inside out to make perfect evenly cut pieces. Add to salad mix.

Dice the red onion finely and add to the salad mix. Add the goat cheese crumbles.
Dice the Apricots and add them next into the salad mix..

Add in the walnuts for some extra crunch.

Finally, add the cooled bacon and top with additional dressing if desired.  Enjoy your beautiful, colorful, and flavorful in season salad! 

Bonus Picture!

Don't forget to check out Chef Genny's INgredient Challenge recipe - Baked Apples & Parsnips 
-Chef Hallie

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