Bacon, Caramelized Onion and Toasted Pecan Salad
By guest blogger Susan Gleeson
Owner and Nutritionist, The Sown Life Wellness
This is one of my favorite salads to make! It is an entire meal unto itself and if you want more protein you can add grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp! It’s the perfect way to highlight lots of farm-fresh food. Load it up, as all these flavors are heartwarming and delicious! This salad serves two as a main meal or four as a side dish. Enjoy and have fun with it!!!
Editor's Note: Almost everything that it takes to make this salad can be found on the buying pages of our non-profit online market, Fall Line Farms and Local Roots. Click here to learn more about how you can enjoy fresh, seasonal local food all year long!
· 4 cups salad greens of your choice--I love arugula so that is my go-to! (Spinach or baby kale would be great as well)
· 1 medium red onion sliced
· 2 tsp. ghee
· ¼ tsp. herbes de Provence
· 6 slices of bacon
· ½ cup pecan pieces
· 1 medium-sized sweet potato
· 2 TBS. olive oil
· ¼ tsp. garlic powder
· Salt & pepper
· 15 whole fresh sage leaves
· 1 cup avocado oil (optional—but needed if not using bacon drippings)
· ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
White balsamic vinegar
Good quality olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. For Sweet Potato Croutons: Cut sweet potato in ¼ inch cubes. Toss in a medium bowl with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Layer in one layer on the cookie sheet. (I use Parchment paper on my cookie sheet) Roast for 30 minutes or until brown and slightly crispy.
3. For Bacon: In a large skillet over med. low heat, crisp up the bacon. Drain on a paper towel and then crumble. If using pastured pork bacon, leave the fat in the pan for later use.
4. For Caramelized Onions: In a medium skillet over med. low heat, melt ghee. Add sliced onion and caramelize until soft and golden brown, adding herbes de Provence when they are nearly finished. Set aside and save skillet for later use.
5. For Toasted Pecans: In the medium skillet that you used for the onions, add just a scant amount of ghee and toast pecans. (I like using this skillet because the sweet onion flavor transfers to the pecans.)
6. For Fried Sage: Heat up the skillet you used for the bacon until the bacon drippings are hot. Place a sage leaf in the hot drippings to test the heat of the oil. If it sizzles, then add the other sage leaves. Fry front for about a minute and then flip over to the back side. Remove and drain on paper towels. (If not using bacon drippings, then you can use avocado oil. Make sure you have about ½ inch of oil in the skillet.)
7. Assembling the Salad: Layer the greens on the bottom, followed by the bacon, then the caramelized onions, blue cheese, and pecans. Save the croutons and sage leaves for after you dress the salad.
8. Dressing: This dressing is as simple as it gets. I call it my 3-4 drizzle. I take the bottle of white balsamic and drizzle over the entire salad to the count of 3. Then I take the olive oil and drizzle it over the entire salad to the count of 4. Salt and Pepper to taste and then toss!!! So easy!!!
9. To Eat It: After tossing the salad, top it off with sweet potato croutons and fried sage leaves. Serve!!!
We are grateful for the advocacy of members like Susan Gleeson! To learn more about her practice, The Sown Life Wellness, and to see her beautiful photos and recipes, follow her on Instagram and Facebook (@thesownlife). You can all visit her website at www.thesownlife.com.
This post is a follow-up to Susan’s guest post last week, in which she talks about the connection between eating seasonally and locally and good health. Click here to visit last week’s blog entry and read more about the philosophy behind Susan’s work and her recipes.