Seriously, bacon croutons are the best thing ever! And the perfect addition to this rich, hearty salad with goat cheese, dried cherries and toasted pecans. All of these flavors are tied together deliciously with the Dijon Bacon Vinaigrette.
811 per serving
- 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pounds slab bacon, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices and then crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
- 4 cup kale, chopped (about 1 bunch, tough stems removed)
- 1/2 cup dried cherrries
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 1-inch thick slices country bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup rendered bacon fat, from bacon/lardons
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced fine or pressed
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
First, roast the Brussels sprouts:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, toss quartered Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to the baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning, until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Next, prepare the lardons and croutons:
While the sprouts are roasting, start cooking the bacon and prep the bacon croutons.In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Remove about cup of the bacon fat and set aside to use in the vinaigrette. Line another baking sheet with foil. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet with the remaining bacon fat. Turn off the heat and add the bread cubes to the butter and fat. Stir to coat. Remove the bread from the skillet and spread on the baking sheet. Bake the croutons at 425 degrees for 6-8 minutes, or until brown and crispy. Remove from oven.
Next, make the vinaigrette:
Combine the reserved bacon fat, white wine vinegar, honey, Dijon, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Assemble the salad:
In a large bowl, combine the kale, roasted Brussels sprouts, cherries, pecans, goat cheese, and lardons. Drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette and top with croutons. Toss and serve immediately. Pass additional vinaigrette.