When I think of summer and produce, I think of corn and tomatoes. So when I saw this recipe on bhg.com, I was really intrigued. I have never had a raw corn salad before. Have you?
I’m so glad I made this because it’s so fresh and so good! So many bright flavors and guess what? I added bacon!
You put the easy dressing together first and then get to chopping the vegetables.
Let’s talk about my latest salad obsession, shall we? Spinach, Grapes and Bacon. It’s a salad made with, you guessed it, spinach, grapes, and bacon, but despite it’s simplicity, the dish absolutely sings with flavor!
Baby spinach is tossed with crispy grapes and a tangy-sweet pan dressing made from the drippings of crunchy bacon that’s crumbled on top. Finished with smoked cheese shavings, this salad is delicious enough to enjoy during a quiet night at home, but elegant and exceptional enough to serve as the first course at your next dinner party. Grapes, bacon, and smoked cheese – who could be mad at that?!
Start by getting some bacon sizzlin’ in a skillet. I used my favorite cast iron skillet, but any heavy-bottomed skillet will do just fine. I like to cook my bacon over medium heat – no more no less – which slowly renders out the bacon fat resulting in perfectly crispy bacon every time.
While the bacon’s sizzling away, slice a bunch of fresh red grapes in half. Wash more than you need as you’ll find yourself snacking more than slicing. Is there anything more poppable than sweet, red grapes?
Combine the grapes with baby spinach.
Finally, remove the bacon from the skillet then add red wine vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper to the drippings and quickly whisk to combine. Add to the spinach and grapes then toss to coat.
Finally, shave smoked Gruyere cheese on top. I am next level obsessed with smoked gruyere and pretty much find any and all possible reasons to keep it in my house.
The creamy, smoky cheese is absolutely divine when paired with the salty bacon and sweet grapes.
Pile the salad onto plates then top with the shaved cheese. Grab a fork, and your appetite, and enjoy!
Teri Lyn Fisher is a photographer whose work has appeared in Rue, Anthology, and HGTV Magazine. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Jenny Park is a food sytlist, recipe writer, and professional eater. Her clients include Kellogg’s, HGTV and Del Taco . Together, Teri and Jenny love to fill their blog Spoon Fork Bacon with recipes, drinks, and pretty pictures. They live in sunny Los Angeles.
When summer rolls around there is nothing we love more than making sweet cold treats. We love this recipe because it marries sweet with salty. Why candied bacon?…why not?…right?!
Salted Caramel and Candied Bacon Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lb bacon, cooked and roughly crumbled/chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
ice cream base:
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
1¼ cups whole milk
5 egg yolks
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 recipe ice cream base
1. Place the butter in a medium sauté pan, over medium heat and melt. Add the bacon and stir. Sprinkle both sugars over the bacon and continuously stir until the sugar melts, about 5 to 7 minutes.
2. In a single layer, pour the bacon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside to cool.
3. For the ice cream base: Pour cream and milk into a saucepan and bring up to a scale (medium heat).
4. Place the egg yolks and sugar into a stand mixer and whip until light yellow and fluffy. Pour ½ cup of the scaling cream mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk to prevent scrambling.
5. Pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cream and milk, whisking to prevent scrambling. Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir continuously until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.
6. Stir in the vanilla extract and strain through a fine sieve.
7. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place over an ice bath and set side until fully chilled. Once the ice cream base has completely chilled, make the salted caramel.
8. For the salted caramel: Place the sugar, water and Karo syrup into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Do not stir.
9. Once the sugar melts and becomes an amber color, 10-15 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cream (be careful, the mixture will bubble up). Stir the sea salt and vanilla into the caramel and stir until smooth.
10. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place over a water bath until completely chilled.
11. Stir the chilled ice cream base and salted caramel together, into a large bowl until completely combined.
12. Set up the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions and freeze the ice cream. Ten minutes before the ice cream is ready, pour the candied bacon into the churning ice cream. Once the ice cream has reached the desired consistency serve or place into an airtight container until ready to use.
Hi I’m Juli Hale, and I’ve been a Test Kitchen Chef for Better Homes and Gardens for many years. I am passionate about food and love coming up with fun, new recipes ideas for every issue of the magazine. To start, I must confess that I have the strong opinion that bacon goes with everything. So when the BHG food editors asked me to develop a BLT dessert for the August issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I knew I was going to come up with something fun.
The bread is always the “B” that gets left out of a BLT sandwich acronym, but it can make or break the entire composition. My first thought for bread were shortbread cookies because with they fit in with that yummy salty/sweet flavor profile I was aiming for. Our honey shortbread cookies were the perfect choice and I love that they only take 15 minutes to bake and only use a few ingredients. I won’t tell if you sneak a few before creating your BLT.
Sweet and salty combinations in desserts are scrumptious, don’t you think? So I thought candied bacon would be a perfect place to start. I experimented with maple and brown sugar toppings, and landed on finely chopped pecans mixed with brown sugar and covered my bacon with it before baking it to sweet, savory candied bacon perfection.
Lettuce for dessert was definitely the hardest part of this recipe task. I couldn’t just add it in at the end; it had to make sense with the recipe composition. My first thought was that mint is a popular dessert ingredient. So what could I use instead of mint? Microgreens! In fact, microgreens were the perfect almost-sweet addition to my BLT dessert. I even got fancy and threw a few on my shortbread cookies for a fun decoration.
Tomatoes were the easiest ingredient to add to my dessert. Because tomatoes are fruit, and fruit is for dessert! I’ve had some great tomato jams before, so I thought that would be just the thing. Our easy tomato jam comes together in 25 minutes, and if you have extra you can save it in the fridge for a few days.
So there you have it! Just assemble all the parts of our unique (and totally delicious!) BLT Dessert Bites and enjoy a salty sweet treat that’s a great conversation piece and sure to impress both your foodie friends and the BLT lovers in your life.
Nothing screams Spring quite like bright green veggies! Recently, I’ve been really digging asparagus probably because it’s so easy to cook and my entire family loves it. Yes, even my 4 year old loves it! She calls is ‘sparagus’. She also calls avocados ‘ha-do-ca-dos’. We have fun little cooking and grammar lessons all at the same time.
I’m all about education and multi-tasking.
Except not really.
Anyways, after searching BHG.com, I found this amazing recipe for Avocado and Asparagus Egg Sandwiches. Pretty healthy, totally delicious and really easy to throw together! Plus I had all the ingredients on hand. That is a recipe meant to be.
Here’s how you make them:
Start by snapping the bottoms of your asparagus off. The ends are woody and aren’t that fun to eat. I also sliced mine down the center because the asparagus at the grocery store were particularly large and in charge.
We loved this recipe and the combination of bacon and avocado with the asparagus was amazing!!
If you want to try this recipe out, check out the printable right here.