Updated 07/31/2011 05:00 AM
Recipe: Arugula Salad with Peaches, Tomatoes, Bacon and Gorgonzola Croutons
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1 large bunch arugula (well rinsed and drained)
8 slices bacon
4-6 pieces 3/4-inch thick sliced country bread (sourdough is good)
Approx. 1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese
Approx. 3 Tbs olive oil
3 medium sized ripe peaches
2-3 medium tomatoes
For the dressing:
3 parts extra virgin olive oil (approx. 1/4 cup)
1 part balsamic vinegar (approx. 1 1/2 Tbs)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Black pepper to taste (not too much, the arugula is peppery)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay out 8 slices of bacon on a baking tray and place that into the preheated oven.
To make the croutons, crumble the gorgonzola cheese into a bowl, add a little olive oil and mash until it is somewhat smooth.
Then use a knife to spread it over one side of 3/4-inch thick slices of country bread....place those on a baking tray and place that tray into the oven as well.
Keep your eye on both of those things and you may have to carefully pour off some of the rendered bacon fat as the bacon is crisping up and as far as the bread goes, you want it to be pretty well toasted and you'll be cutting it into bite size croutons after it is done.
While that is happening use a large mixing bowl to make the dressing by combining 3 parts extra virgin olive oil with 1 part balsamic vinegar, a little dollop of Dijon mustard and a crack of black pepper and whisk it up.
And, at this time, take a minute to peel and slice the peaches and rough chop the tomatoes.
Once the bread is toasted and cooled down, cut it into croutons and once the bacon has crisped up and is draining on paper towels, it is time to assemble the salad.
Add the arugula leaves and peaches and tomatoes to the bowl with the dressing, toss to coat, then divide onto plates and top with crumbled, crispy bacon and a handful of gorgonzola croutons.
Substitute other greens for the arugula and substitute blue cheese for the gorgonzola.