Bleu Cheese, Bacon and Toasted Walnut Salad

Yield:  4 Servings


8 strips good-quality bacon
2 large egg, hard-boiled, peeled and finely chopped
2 hearts romaine lettuce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup walnut halves, toasted

Blue Cheese Dressing, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.


Lay the bacon strips on a roasting rack and bake in the oven until crisp, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and drain on paper towels.  Crumble bacon and set aside.  Toast walnuts in 375 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.  When cooled, rough chop.  Hard boil egg, peel and finely chop – set aside.  Remove the large outer leaves from the romaine hearts and rinse. Chop these leaves into bite-size pieces.  Halve the hearts through the cores to make 4 wedges.

Divide the wedges among 4 plates. Mound some of the chopped romaine on top and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon about 1/4 cup of Blue Cheese Dressing over each salad and top with some of the chopped egg, bacon and toasted walnuts.  Pass the remaining dressing at the table.

Blue Cheese Dressing:

Yield:  2 cups

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 shallot, peeled
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

Pulse the mayonnaise, blue cheese, buttermilk, shallot, lemon zest, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and celery seeds in a food processor to make a chunky but pourable sauce. Stir in the parsley and season with plenty of pepper. Use immediately or refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.