UNC v. Dook Throwdown

This basketball matchup comes but twice, maybe thrice a year. A great way to take the edge off the competition is to throw down some burgers on the grill and ease your mind with a beer or five. We had a great turnout this year at Tim’s for a cookout and game watching. He fired up the grill and took care of the carne and chicken, and everyone else brought the side items.

I decided to bring a spinach salad with bacon-thyme vinaigrette. BACON TIME! zing.

This recipe is well worth a little extra effort in making the dressing. I usually like everything Michael Chiarello makes.

first your get your bacon going. i did not use pancetta.

first you get your bacon going. i did not use pancetta.

Now for the good part…the reason this dressing is soooo good.

reserve the rendered bacon fat. should be about 1/4 c. add olive oil if you don't have enough.

reserve the rendered bacon fat. should be about 1/4 c., but you can add olive oil if you don't have enough.

assemble your ingredients.

assemble your ingredients.

return oil and bacon to pan.

return oil and bacon to pan.

add garlic.

add garlic.

add thyme.

add thyme.

I love the way the thyme leaves sizzle and release the intensely flavorful oils!

add balsamic vinegar. i did not use sherry vinegar.

add balsamic vinegar. i did not use sherry vinegar.

Just like that. You have your warm dressing ready to go. I sealed mine up and zapped in the microwave right before serving. When it’s warm and pours over the spinach, goat cheese, dried cranberry concoction, the spinach wilts and goat cheese melts into salady goodness.

look at that plate!

look at that plate!

My cheddar-bacon burger on an onion roll (!!!) was awesome…all 1/2 lb. of it. All in all, a successful day in the kitchen, at the grill and on the hardwood. Go heels!

Jeffrey A. Camarati, tarheelblue.com

© Jeffrey A. Camarati, tarheelblue.com

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One response to “UNC v. Dook Throwdown

  1. I can’t stop staring at that salad. It looks so good!

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