Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Three B's: Broccoli with Bacon Balsamic Sauce

This picture doesn't capture the gloss of the dressing, therefore it looks kinda dry, but it really wasn't. I promise.

When you've got a moment while waiting for your dinner to finish cooking, this is a really nice extra addition to the regular old steamed broccoli side dish. And let's face it, most nights I DO NOT have an extra minute to whip up something fancy for the broccoli while waiting for dinner to cook. I'm most definitely gonna take those minutes to fold a load of laundry or give the baby a bath or yell at the two older kids to stop trying to kill each get the picture. Luck had it that the boys were busy terrorizing the neighbor kids on the other side of the fence outside and the baby was most-cooperatively napping. :)

What you need:

2 slices of bacon, diced (I cheated and used bacon bits)
1 small shallot, minced
1 ½ T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
3 T. olive oil
1 to 1 ¼ lb. steamed broccoli or any other vegetable

How you make it:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a dish lined with paper towels, leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Add the shallot to the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 T. of the vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to dissolve the browned bits stuck to the pan bottom. Off the heat, stir in the remaining ½ T. vinegar, the lemon juice, and the mustard. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season with ¼ tsp. salt and some fresh ground pepper to taste.
Drizzle sauce over the steamed veggies and sprinkle with the cooked bacon bits.

Since I used already cooked bacon bits this time, I just heated up some oil in the pan, started sautéing the bacon bits and the shallots together, and went from there, adding the vinegar and so on, without removing the bacon. Hope that makes sense. Sometimes you gotta improvise. And you could most certainly make this sauce ahead of time and just reheat if needed.

This is a great vinaigrette sauce for any steamed vegetable. Potatoes, cauliflower, carrots...whatever. Of course, it's got bacon in it. As, Jim Gaffigan says, "Bacon is the fairy dust of the food world". And he would be 100% correct in that statement.

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