Cooking for Two: Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette

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I thought the trend for using bacon in all kinds of weird combinations was over, but apparently not. Burger King has just added a bacon sundae to their menu. Now I like bacon as much as the next person, but I really don’t want it in my dessert. But in my vegetable side dish, it’s another story. I actually made a bacon pie once, which was essentially Pommes Anna wrapped in bacon. You can see that my dog Jasper took advantage of me taking a photo to try to get a little closer to the prize. But I digress.

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This recipe made a very thick vinaigrette that was more like a sauce. It’s a really simple way to liven up your asparagus if you are tired of eating it steamed with lemon and butter. If the asparagus season is finished where you are, you could use this on just about any other vegetable you like. I think it would be great on potatoes, too.

This recipe is from the website The Kitchn.

Grilled Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette

2 slices bacon
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
1/2 pound slender asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve the rendered fat in the pan.

2.In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallot, mustard, and thyme. Carefully pour the bacon fat through a fine-mesh sieve into a spouted measuring cup. Slowly whisk the bacon fat into the vinegar mixture until smooth and emulsified. Taste the dressing. If it is too strong, adjust with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

3. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill, preheat a gas grill to high, or heat a grill pan over high heat. Pat the asparagus dry and put on a platter or in a baking dish. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and roll the asparagus in the oil until well-coated. Season with salt. Arrange the asparagus directly over the heat on the grill rack or place in he pan and cook, turning as needed, until nicely browned in spots on all sides without burning, 6-8 minutes.

4.Crumble the bacon into small pieces. Arrange the asparagus spears on a platter, pour the dressing over, and scatter the bacon over the top. Top with a few grinds of papper and serve warm.

 

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