Two For One…with Bacon
Sometimes, the way to please someone who is studying for 14 hours a day is to feed them a two course meal. And if you really want to win them over, add bacon.
This meal is simple, sweet, and summery. Obviously because half of it is Nigella Lawson’s brainchild. Ever since I opened her Forever Summer cookbook for the first time this year, the pages crunching from overuse, I have put sticky notes on a dozen recipes, trying to spread out making them so not every post says “Adapted from Nigella”. But if there is any celebrity chef I would be, it would be her. She makes cooking so flawless and sexy, you just want to curl up in her rhubarb fool and enjoy the blissful sugar coma. No worries about fat or calories there, just how essentially enjoyable each meal is.
What I really, truly love about Nigella (besides total hair and flawless skin envy) is how easy she makes everything seem. Her recipes are hardly even recipes, but rather general instructions. “Whisk as if you were whisking a salad dressing.” Have I ever whisked a salad dressing? No. But if I picture how Nigella would whisk a mixture of oil, vinegar, and herbs I can probably figure it out. I obviously have a minor girl crush.
The start of this meal was made up off the top of my head: with 4 strips of unused bacon calling to me from the fridge, so did a temptation of warm meets cold. Since my Asian slaw excursion I have been addicted to warm salads, and with bacon…its practically indescribable. The recipe I chose to go with it, Eggplant Roll Ups, were the perfect compliment: again hot and cold, but this time a warm, gooey eggplant with a spicy and zesty chilled feta. On a hot summer-like day, what more could a girl ask for?
Warm Bacon Salad
1/2 head romain lettuce
4 strips of bacon
1/2 small onion
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup water
Take the bacon and chop it up into small pieces. I like to use scissors and just snip pieces into the frying pan. Fry until crispy.
Chop the romain into small pieces and put in a medium bowl. Very thinly slice the onion and add to the lettuce. Add the crispy bacon on top.
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, soy, and water and bring to a boil. Let reduce by half, then pour over the salad and toss gently until incorporate.
Eggplant Roll-Ups (Adapted from Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson)
1 eggplant, thinly sliced lengthwise into 8 – 10 pieces
1/2 block feta, crumbled
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Pam to cook.
Heat a grill pan to high. Spray each side of an eggplant slice with Pam and cook on the grill 2 – 3 minutes each side, or until tender. Put on a plate covered with tin foil to keep warm.
In a small bowl, mix the feta, lemon, chili flakes and parsley until a paste is made.
On each eggplant slice, spoon 1 tablespoon of the feta mixture. Roll up and place on a plate seam-side down.
I am definitely bringing both of these to the next summer party I attend. They are more-ish, delicious, and completely summer-y. Considering it took only a half an hour to make both of these, they were the perfect weeknight meal. Just make sure you make extra, they will be gone in a flash!