Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bacon Roasted Green Bean Salad with Gorgonzola & Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

What was Sunday’s dinner plan?  It was a simple jerk chicken on the grill.  (Jerk is so easy when you use Busha Browne’s Jerk Seasoning – the paste kind – all you do is rub it on the raw chicken or pork and let it marinate for a while.  I’ve mentioned it here before  and now I’ve found it in the Strip at Reyna’s!  Go get yourself some.  I SWEAR that wasn't a paid advertisement!) 

Anyway, since the chicken was a snap to make, I decided to make a more complicated salad.  Don’t you know it?!  I made that complicated salad easy, too!  The salad?  It was a roasted green bean, bacon, garlic slivers, sunflower kernels and gorgonzola with a balsamic vinegar, mustard & maple vinaigrette.  The salad is served warm.  You say you don’t think it sounds easy?  Everything but the gorgonzola was roasted together on a baking sheet and cooled to room temp before dressing with the vinaigrette.  Yep, a cinch!

Oh, and the other side dish was a really sweet and fresh corn on the cob from Georgia.  Florida corn abounds around here, but I’ve never seen GA corn before! Maybe it was fresher and sweeter because Georgia is closer than Florida?  Until our local corn comes in, I'm looking for the Georgia stuff every time!  I already have plans for the leftovers....a mango sweet corn salsa!  Look for that recipe next, folks!

Let’s get to the salad so you can make it, too!

Bacon Roasted Green Bean Salad 
with Gorgonzola & Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1 pound green beans, fresh, end snapped off and broken into 2 1/2" pieces
  • 8 larqe garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 4 slices bacon, thick sliced, cut across into 1/2" lardons, cooked halfway done
  • 1/4 cup sunflower kernals
  • olive oil spray - I put my own into a Misto spray bottle - love it!
  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, the REAL stuff, you know I prefer grade B for more flavor!
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, I like Coleman's
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450.  Scatter beans across a baking sheet with a rim.  Then evenly scatter the garlic and sunflower kernels and last, the bacon.  Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. 
Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the green beans are done, but not limp.  Remove from oven and cool.
While the beans are cooling, mix the olive oil, balsamic, maple syrup, mustard and pepper with a whisk until emulsified. 
Pour the vinaigrette over the beans, toss with gorgonzola and serve at room temperature.

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