Chard Salad with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Parmesan
So, for a little while there, I thought Fall was on its' way. The smell of the air had changed to that crisp, coolness that we all crave this time of the year, some leaves are starting to change and turn red and orange. But then, the weather was like "haha just kidding!". Don't bring out those cozy sweaters and jeans just yet, because I still have some 80 degree days for you. A little New England flip/flop (not sandals) weather that it likes to throw at you any time of the year. So, I am using this warmer weather as an excuse to share some of the summer food I made, but never got around to blogging about. This amazing salad being the first of many delicious things coming your way.
Salads are salads, I know. But sometimes, you come across one that will knock your socks off. This salad is definitely one of those. In fact, my husband declared it his new favorite. Considering he is a big-time meat man, I was impressed. He even wanted some packed in his lunch for the boat the next day. I always know it's a winner when he requests leftovers. It seems like just a few simple ingredients prepared the right way and thrown together makes taste bud explosions. Plus, swiss chard is SO good for you. A complete win-win situation! This makes a fabulous lunch, or a great side salad for dinner next to some grilled chicken or steak. Or, if you prefer, omit the bacon to make it vegetarian. Make it, love it, be happy.
Chard Salad with Bacon, Garlic Breadcrumbs and Parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups torn, fresh breadcrumbs (any bread you have in your cupboard will do)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large bunch swiss chard
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
salt and pepper
Juice and zest the lemon into separate small bowls. In another small bowl, combine 2 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Set aside.
In a small, heavy skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the torn breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently to ensure they don't burn, until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat.
Separate the chard leaves from the stems. Finely chop the stems, and chop the leaves. Place the stems and leaves in a large bowl and toss with the grated Parmesan cheese and the dressing. Toss in the bacon, almonds and breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.
Source: Slightly adapted from Food 52 Mighty Salads