Cantaloupe Salad with Bacon and Garlic Scapes
I like bacon as much as the next omnivore. Or, maybe not. All these t-shirts and bumper stickers I see proclaiming that "Everything tastes better with bacon" just don't speak to me. I never understood bacon on a steak or a burger; I don't need to add a bacon-topped donut to my food repertoire. To my taste buds, bacon works best when paired with something fresh and juicy—like in a BLT, surrounded by loads of lettuce and tomato and (if I'm lucky) avocado.
But lettuce and tomatoes aren't the only fresh and juicy foods around. In this dish, I've paired bacon with some ripe cantaloupe. I was inspired by the prosciutto e melone that I adore (especially when consumed in a restaurant in Rome!). This recipe uses a lot less meat, but keeps all that sweet-and-savory deliciousness.
In fact, that's one thing that I do really appreciate about bacon: a little goes a long way. So you can add some wonderful flavor and crunch, using just a bit of the meat.
serves 4-6 as a side dish
- large cantaloupe, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3 slices bacon (I used this organic bacon)
- 1/4-1/3 cup chopped garlic scapes
- 1/2 large lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
This dish couldn't be easier. Cook your bacon until it's very crisp; drain on a paper towel. Add the chopped scapes to the hot fat and cook just until tender and a bit caramelized (a couple of minutes or so); remove with a slotted spoon.
Put the melon in a large serving bowl. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it and the scapes atop the melon. Squeeze lemon juice over everything. If you like, add a bit of salt and pepper.
Then just dig into this salty/sweet, cooked/raw, hot/cold, soft/crunchy, yin/yang of a dish!