Delicious Salad (with bacon, of course)

Zingerman’s 4th Annual Camp Bacon is coming soon and to help get everyone prepared, we’re sharing tasty excerpts and recipes from Ari’s book, Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon

Wilted Salad

A great all-American dish dating back to the Colonial era, wilted salad uses bacon fat as the basis for a dressing in much the same way that olive oil is used to dress greens in the Mediterranean. The heat of the bacon dressing wilts the greens—hence the name. April McGreger, who grew up with bacon fat as the basis for a lot of her family’s food, told me that they called this “killt lettuce”—because the lettuce is “slain” by the hot fat, not because of any connection to Scottish menswear. The bacon’s flavor is a big part of the dish, so use whatever variety strikes your fancy. Because the fat will solidify once it cools, the dressing must be served warm.


  • 6 ounces mixed greens, washed and dried
  • 6 ounces sliced bacon (about 3 to 4 slices)
  • 2 scallions (greens and whites), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • 2 ounces cheddar cheese, diced (optional)
  • ¼ cup walnuts or hickory nuts, lightly toasted and chopped (optional)
  • Freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper to taste



  1. 1. Place the greens in a large, heat-proof serving bowl.
  2. 2. Fry the bacon in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the skillet, drain and chop it. Reserve about 4 tablespoons of fat in the skillet (augment with a glug from your backup supply if necessary).
  3. 3. Add the sliced scallions to the pan and cook for a minute. Pour in the cider vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir well and boil lightly for a minute.
  4. 4. If you’re using cheese or toasted nuts, distribute them over the greens. Pour the hot dressing over the top, toss well and sprinkle with the bits of cooked bacon and plenty of fresh pepper. Serve warm.

Serves 2 as a main course, or 4 as a side dish

See you at camp!