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Paula Deen Recipe: Wilted Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

Spinach_Bacon_Salad_400This is the kind of warm, comforting salad you might expect to find on a steakhouse menu. If you can call a salad “romantic,” well, it’d be this one. From Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible. The hot bacon dressing covers the greens so that every leaf just drips with flavor. Now, this is a salad you can really sink your teeth into.

SERVES 4
12 cups salad greens, such as spinach, butterhead lettuce, and red leaf lettuce, or equivalent mixed greens
3 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
About 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 slices bacon
Black pepper

1. In a large salad bowl, combine the greens and scallions. In a small bowl, mix together 2 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, the sugar, and salt. Toss with the salad. Add a few more drops of vinegar if you need it to coat all those greens.

2. In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Set the bacon on a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Crumble the bacon over the salad and pour the hot bacon grease over the greens. Toss well to combine. Season with black pepper to taste.

KEEP IT CLEAN
There’s nothing worse than a salad filled with grit. Make sure you clean your salad greens thoroughly. I like to fill the sink up with a whole load of cold water (sometimes I even throw some ice cubes in there), give a generous shake of salt to the water, and submerge my leaves. The salt will take care of any critters that have stowed away in your leaves, and they will drop to the bottom of the sink. Give the leaves a swirl around in the water, then dry them thoroughly. A salad spinner is the best bet for drying, but if you don’t have one, just lay the leaves out on a kitchen towel to dry.

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