This perfect summer tomato salad recipe is inspired by a recent trip to La Soupe to grab a bite for lunch. I had a simple tomato salad with bits of crispy bacon and goat cheese. I got to thinking … what if you used bacon drippings instead of olive oil to make a sort of vinaigrette for fresh tomatoes?
Um, YEAH! Pouring a dressing of warm bacon drippings and balsamic over a pile of perfectly ripe tomatoes coats the tomatoes with flavor and coaxes them into releasing their juices. You can skip the arugula base if you’d like, and just dive into a big bowl of tomatoey-bacony goodness. Goat cheese is delicious here, but you could certainly swap in fresh mozzarella or Feta.
bacon, goat cheese and tomato salad recipe
1 very large (or 2 medium) ripe heirloom tomato
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Handful baby arugula
1 ounce fresh goat cheese
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the tomato into large chunks and transfer to a bowl; sprinkle well with coarse sea salt. In a small skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings; add the balsamic vinegar to the remaining drippings in the pan. Cook over medium-low heat about 1 minute, until the mixture is hot and syrupy. Pour the hot balsamic-bacon mixture over the tomatoes and stir gently to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes so tomatoes release their juices. Scatter a big handful of baby arugula on a serving platter; top with tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese and bacon. Season well with salt and pepper; serve immediately.