6 slices smoked, thick-cut bacon
2 heads broccoli, cut into ½-inch florets
1 cup cheese, shredded
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon bacon drippings (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Reserve one tablespoon of drippings and discard the rest. Crumble the bacon, and place on paper towel to drain and remain crispy.
In a large bowl, combine broccoli, cheese, bacon, and shallot.
Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, bacon drippings, sugar, pepper, salt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Combine dressing with salad. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 6.
Beet and Onion Relish
2 large Vidalia onions, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 large beets, peeled and grated
3/4 cup brown sugar
1½ cups apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and fresh-cracked pepper
Heat a Dutch oven or 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add onions to dry pan. Allow the onions to sweat out some of their liquid, about 5 minutes, before adding the oil and butter.
Let onions cook 10 to 15 minutes until beginning to caramelize, adjusting the heat if cooking too quickly. Add a pinch of salt, then add the grated beets and brown sugar. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Add the mustard seeds, allspice, cumin, cinnamon, a large pinch of salt, and 10 turns of cracked pepper. Simmer for 10 more minutes until thick and bubbly. Spoon into sterilized pint jars and seal. Allow to cool on the counter for an hour before refrigerating (required). Perfect complement to hot dogs, burgers, or any veggie sandwich. Makes 3 pints.
White Bean Salad
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ English cucumber, quartered and sliced thin
½ small red onion, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. In a separate small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, oil, dill, garlic, and salt.
Add the dressing to the bean mixture, and mix gently. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, taste, and adjust the seasoning if desired. Serves 6.
Herbed Potato Salad
1 pound new potatoes
1½ cups mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped (basil, parsley, chives, mint)
3 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced thin
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
¼ cup olive oil
In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water, add a large pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes, and drain.
In a separate bowl, mix the herbs, scallions, lemon zest, juice, garlic and olive oil, and a large pinch of salt. When potatoes are cool, slice them in quarters, and add to the herb mixture. Allow the potatoes to marinate in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. Serves 6.
Photos: Jenny Tremblay West