Romaine salad with blue cheese, bacon and radishes
Total time: 30 minutes
Blue cheese dressing
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, macerate the shallots in the red wine vinegar until they soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the mayonnaise and blue cheese and stir roughly with a fork, mashing any large clumps of cheese with the tines of the fork. Stir in just enough heavy cream to make a slightly creamy consistency; the dressing will be very thick. Add salt to taste; because blue cheese can be quite salty, it might not need any. Stir in a generous grinding of black pepper and refrigerate tightly covered. Let warm slightly and stir briskly before serving.
Salad and assembly
6 strips thick sliced bacon
3 (6-ounce) hearts of romaine
3 to 4 large radishes, sliced as thin as possible
1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until it is browned on 1 side, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side, 4 to 5 minutes. If there are any pale spots left on the first side, turn it again and cook briefly so that the bacon is well-browned and quite crisp. Drain on paper towels.
2. Pull away any tough or faded outer leaves from the romaine, then separate the heads into individual leaves and combine in a large mixing bowl.
3. Spoon over about one-half cup of the blue cheese dressing and toss, adding more dressing 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to lightly coat the leaves.
4. Arrange the romaine on 6 chilled salad plates, then crumble the bacon over top and scatter the sliced radishes over everything.
5. Serve immediately.
Each serving: 132 calories; 5 grams protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 20 mg. cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 308 mg. sodium.