My first run-in with bacon dressing was at an Applebee’s restaurant. It’s served on their signature shrimp and spinach salad. I ordered it on a whim once thinking it sounded pretty carb-safe. When I bit into it, I was shocked.
For those of you who’ve never had bacon dressing, you’re in for an insanely good treat. You expect it to be salty and savory, but it’s not: it’s this complex blend of super sweet with savory bacon and the sour bite of vinegar. It’s indescribable, really, but it’s flat out delicious.
The Applebee’s dressing, unfortunately, has something like 27g of sugar in the 1/4 cup serving. The sugar they use, of course, is high fructose corn syrup. It’s basically a nutritional nightmare. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at the dressing for awhile now, and tonight was the night.
The perfect salad for this dressing is a bed of baby spinach topped with pine nuts or slivered almonds, red onions, red peppers, mushrooms and banana peppers. I didn’t have all that, though, so my picture only shows a bed of spinach topped with some sliced onions. Did it matter that this salad wasn’t a culinary work of art? Nope. This dressing is, though.
I’m surprised at how well this turned out, to be honest. It’s not *quite* as sweet as the Applebee’s dressing. This somehow makes it better for me. And since it contains real bacon and real bacon fat– and none of the dreaded soybean oil that the restaurants use– you can actually taste the bacon-y goodness. I recommend an organic, pastured, nitrate free bacon, of course. I use Applegate Farms brand when I can’t get local bacon from my farmer.
Also, I normally say that xanthan or guar gum are optional in my recipes, and while you can get away with not using it here, I highly recommend using it. In a traditional recipe, sugar or high fructose corn syrup thickens the mixture, and since we don’t have that here, the gums help to keep it thick.
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 8 slices pastured, organic, nitrate-free bacon; cooked crisp and crumbled with all drippings
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup Swerve (or granulated erythritol or other no-cal sweetener)
- 5 drops stevia extract
- 1/4 tsp. xanthan or guar gum
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until blended together.
- Pour the mixture in a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds or until the bacon “dissolves” and the mixture turns opaque, then pour the mixture into a serving bowl.
- Microwave on high for 10 seconds if desired. Use to top spinach salad or anything else your heart desires!