I’m currently sitting here at my antique kitchen table, cup of coffee tucked next to my lap top, with a picturesque view of the countryside. The birds are chirping, the dogs are snoring, and I, admittedly, am still waking up. The sun seems to be a little slow to shine this morning as well.
While the coffee is surging into my bloodstream, I recall my last post where I promised a little bit of a teaser to the cookbook that I am writing. With well over 75 recipes, I had a difficult time choosing just one to share with you. Below, I think you will find an appropriate recipe for these Texas winter months.
Wilted Bacon Fennel Salad
Fennel. I had never really had fennel before I started working for a local farm here in Austin. I’m not a huge fan of anything licorice, but fennel with the right flavor combinations can transform itself into a spectacular little touch to the right dish. Fennel is currently in season along with citrus and kale so this salad is the perfect fresh addition to spruce up any winter table setting.
- 2 bulbs fennel, 1/4 inch thick, sliced. 1 inch or less length
- 1 pound applewood smoked bacon
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1.5 oranges diced
- Juice from half of an orange
- 1 tablespoon Cider vinegar
- 2 table spoon agave
- Salt pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Chop off ends fennel, leaving bulb and the heartier ends of the stalks. Remove the outer shell of the fennel bulbs and cut in half. Slice fennel into 1/4 inch thick slices.
- Cut 1 pound of bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. (just use kitchen scissors, it’ll save you any aggravation of cutting with a knife and you can cut a couple pieces at a time)
- In a baking sheet, mix bacon and fennel making sure to break up the fennel and bacon.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until bacon is cooked and fennel is browned.
- While bacon/fennel mixture is cooking, course chop kale and put in a large bowl.
- Zest one orange, after zesting dice up 1.5 oranges. Squeeze the juice from the remaining half of the orange onto the kale.
- Add vinegar and agave into the bowl. Toss and massage the liquids into the kale.
- Remove the fennel and bacon from the oven and strain the excess bacon fat from tray.
- While still warm, mix the fennel and bacon with the kale and dressing. The heat from will wilt the kale slightly.
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Bon apetit!
*Note: It’s no secret, at least I don’t think, that I love bacon. This recipe does call for a pound, which can seem a little, how do you say? Overboard? If your arteries clog at the thought, use less! You do you.
**Note: This recipe does not keep well as left overs, not that there ever is when I make it for friends.