SOUTHERN WILTED GREEN SALAD (for four)
“Wilted salad is one of those dishes about which Southerners wax nostalgic, perhaps because it was traditionally a highly seasonal dish, made with early spring salad greens.” Scott Peacock, The Gift of Southern Cooking
6 slices bacon
1 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 cups crisp, flavorful salad greens, such as watercress, romaine, Bibb or Boston lettuce, or a mixture of the above, washed, thoroughly dried and torn into large pieces
1 bunch arugula, prepared as above (optional)
4 spring onions or scallions, washed, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely snipped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside on paper towels to drain. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt and black pepper to the bacon fat left in the frying pan. Stir well to blend and bring to a vigorous boil.
- While the dressing is coming to a boil, break the salad greens into large pieces and put them into a large stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Add the optional arugula, sliced onions, chives, parsley and crumble the reserved bacon over the greens. Season with additional salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and toss gently.
- Pour the boiling dressing over the greens, toss well, and season to taste with more salt and grindings of black pepper. Serve at once.