Red Grape, Bacon, and Pistachio Salad with Shallot Sherry Vinaigrette

Sweet grapes, bitter arugula, sour vinegar, and salty, umami bacon and pistachios--the basic tastes are all in. Use turkey bacon if you like, or none at all and rely on the nuts for savory richness. The micro greens add big flavor with their tiny leaves, but if you have trouble finding them, add fresh herbs or extra arugula instead.

This vinaigrette is best after it sits for at least 30 minutes, so the sautéed shallots melt into the rest of the ingredients. Feel free to make it a day or two in advance and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

4 oz thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large shallots, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper (about 5 or 6 grinds)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
6 ounces baby arugula or mixed greens
2 cups red grapes
1/2 cup shelled, roasted salted pistachios
2 oz micro greens

Cooking Directions: Render the bacon until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes, in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Lift the bacon from the grease with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel-lined plate. Add the shallots to the bacon grease in the pan and sauté 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Transfer the warm shallots to a small mixing bowl. Discard remaining grease. Whisk the shallots with the mustard, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the oil in a slow drizzle, whisking vigorously. Toss the crisp bacon pieces with the baby arugula, grapes and pistachios. Top with micro greens and then drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad.

Photo and original recipe courtesy of Tara Mataraza Desmond.
See the full recipe here.