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Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

Yield

Serves 6 (serving size: about 4 teaspoons)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons strained bacon fat
  • 4 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 45
  • fat 4.3 g
  • satfat 1.7 g
  • monofat 2 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 0.0 g
  • carbohydrate 1 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 4 mg
  • iron 0.0 mg
  • sodium 104 mg
  • calcium 2 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place bacon fat in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add shallots; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar, tarragon, sugar, salt, and pepper. Use dressing immediately; it will dress 6 cups of greens.

  2. Rendering Bacon Fat

  3. Cooking bacon over low heat melts the solid fat, rendering it from the meat. It's so versatile, and a little goes a long way, so it's our tactic for bringing a smoky presence to a dish without adding a lot of fat.

  4. Cut up the bacon. Rather than cooking full strips, use kitchen shears to snip cold bacon into 3/4-inch pieces. The small pieces will fully cover the pan and render evenly.

  5. Choose the right pan. Select a pan that lets the bacon cook evenly, immersed in its own fat, without burning. Use a small pan for 3 ounces of bacon, a medium skillet for 6 to 8 ounces, and a large skillet for more.

  6. Employ gentle heat. Cook bacon over medium-low heat 10 minutes or until the fat is released and the meat is crisp and browned.

  7. Strain and go. Filter out the gritty browned bits--they can taste bitter. Use bacon fat to add smoky flavor to sautéed vegetables, soups, and croutons. Or use it to make a vinaigrette, like this one.