Little Gem Wedges with Asparagus, Peas, and Hot Bacon Dressing

Combining two favorite old-school salads is a good thing.

Ceramic by Janaki Larsen

We love a classic-recipe mash up. Case in point: Hot bacon dressing is more commonly associated with wilted spinach, but it’s even better drizzled over a crisp wedge salad in lieu of creamy blue cheese. And instead of iceberg, try this with petite heads of lettuce called “Little Gems,” otherwise smallish heads of romaine will do just fine.

Makes 2 main course servings, or 4 sides

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 ounces asparagus, ends snapped and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sweet peas (defrosted if frozen)
  • 2 heads Little Gem lettuce or romaine hearts, cut into 4 wedges each
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill

Directions

  1. Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and place it next to the stove.
  2. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and slowly lower the eggs into the water. Cook for 6 minutes, then remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice water to stop cooking, about 2 minutes. To peel, gently tap the eggs with the back of a spoon, making tiny cracks all over the shells like a mosaic. Peel the eggs under cool water, beginning at the thickest end, and set aside.
  3. Return the pan of water to a simmer and season it generously with salt. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes, then transfer to the bowl of ice water with a slotted spoon. Cool a few minutes then drain, dry well, and set aside.
  4. Add the peas to the simmering water and cook 1 to 2 minutes until bright green. Drain the peas through a strainer, and rinse them under cold water to stop cooking; set aside
  5. Arrange the lettuce wedges on a serving platter.
  6. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and bacon and cook until the bacon is browned and crisp on the edges but still chewy in the center, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the bacon to a plate using a slotted spoon. Whisk the vinegar, honey, and mustard into the fat in the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the bacon to the pan and add the asparagus and peas. Toss to coat everything in the dressing.
  7. Pour the vinaigrette mixture over the lettuce wedges. Tear the eggs in half and nestle them around the salad. Top with the chives and dill and serve warm.

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