CRISP APPLE, BACON, ‘N' CHEESE SALAD – 4 servings
- 8 to 10 slices lean bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (see note)
- 1½ cups diced or coarsely chopped peeled or unpeeled apples (Cameo, Gala, Braeburn
- or other crisp variety eating apple)
- 1 cup diced or coarsely chopped celery
- ½ to 2/3 cup broken English Walnuts or pecans
- ½ cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese
- or crumbled blue or Roquefort cheese, or a combination
- ½ cup mayonnaise or reduced-fat or no-fat mayonnaise
- Pinch of sugar and/or salt (optional)
- 2 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce or to taste (optional)
- Crisp leaf lettuce as desired
- Paprika as desired for garnish
Pan-fry bacon in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat until golden brown and crisp; drain thoroughly on absorbent paper.. Or, microwave whole bacon slices between sheets of absorbent paper or wax paper at HIGH power for about 4 minutes or until crisp. Coarsely crumble bacon and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine three-fourths of the crumbled bacon, apples, celery, nuts of choice, and cheese of choice. In a 1-cup measure, combine mayonnaise and sugar, salt, and hot sauce, if desired; add mayonnaise mixture to apple/bacon mixture, mixing gently but well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, arrange crisp leaf lettuce on each of 4 salad plates. Spoon apple mixture onto each lettuce-lined plate, dividing evenly. Sprinkle each salad with paprika and then remaining crumbled bacon.
Note: May use regular bacon or reduced-salt or reduced-sugar bacon or turkey or chicken bacon as desired.