SMOKED BLUE CHEESE AND BACON SALAD
Salad can be so much more than lettuce and few other vegetables topped with store-bought salad dressing. Served as a starter or as an entree, this flavorful combination takes salad to a new level. Smoking time is short, cooking is minimal, and the dressing only takes a few minutes to mix up. Many of the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time and adjusted to feed a few or feed a crowd.
1/2 pound thin sliced bacon
10 ounces blue cheese
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 heads butter lettuce
Orange Vinaigrette, recipe below
Place bacon slices on a smoker rack without any overlap. Place blue cheese on a smoker rack. Place walnuts on a teflon screen atop a smoker rack. Put all racks in the smoker with the bacon below the nuts and cheese.
Smoke 30-45 minutes, using 1 pan of chips. Please note: if smoking cheese on a hot day (over 70 degrees) put it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes prior to smoking to keep it from melting.
Remove ingredients from smoker and immediately refrigerate the blue cheese. Cut bacon into small pieces and fry in a skillet on medium-high heat until crisp. Drain bacon on a paper towel and let cool.
Assemble salad by tearing up lettuce and dividing all ingredients among serving plates. Drizzle with Orange Vinaigrette and serve immediately.
ORANGE VINAIGRETTE RECIPE
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice and zest of 1 small orange
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
In a small bowl, mix until thoroughly combined
Recipes by: Tiffany Haugen