Slice a crisp Granny Smith apple into a watercress salad. Photo by George Georgiades.
Apple, Bacon & Watercress Salad
Crisp Fall Apples Meet Tangy Cress
We love frisée in salad. The spiky-leaved, pale green relative of chicory, traditionally served with lardons (oblong cubes) of bacon in a vinaigrette—often with crumbled blue cheese, fanned slices of pear and walnuts—makes a delightful salad. It’s a French classic.
Here’s a different take on lardons and fruit and greens that substitutes watercress for the frisée and sautéed Granny Smith apples for the pear.
- 2 apples, preferably hard and tart like Granny Smiths
- 4 ounce slab of bacon diced into 1-inch lardons
- 4 ounces of crumbled blue cheese (optional)
- 3/4 cup toasted walnut halves (optional)
- 1 shallot
- 2 large bunches watercress (bunches vary from market to market, so judge according to how many servings you need)
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and white pepper
- Toast the walnuts (directions on how to toast walnuts).
- Add the bacon to a cold pan to render out the fat. Put the pan over a low heat and fry the lardons until crisp. Drain the excess fat from the pan.
- Turn heat up to high, add apples and minced shallot, sauté for about one minute.
- Mix dressing from vinegar and oil, salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss watercress in vinaigrette. Plate watercress.
- Slice apples in a thin wedges. Fan on top of watercress. Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese and toasted walnuts.