BLT Salad With Arugula, Feta And Balsamic Vinaigrette

On a recent trip to the farmer's market, we luckily got there early enough to pick up some beautiful handfuls of crisp, peppery arugula from Jones Valley Urban Farm, which is an awesome "teaching farm" here in Birmingham, AL.  There, they teach folks about the value of agriculture and the benefits of eating fresh, healthy ingredients.  It's awesome because they've transformed over 3 acres of vacant downtown property into a lush garden.  Pretty cool, huh?
Now, this particular arugula wasn't just peppery, it was flat-out spicy.  I topped it with thick-cut bacon, fresh cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, and a quick and simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  It was the perfect light lunch after a morning at the market.  
A few slices of whole wheat bread on the side would make a great accompaniment to this easy-peasy salad.  
Bon Appetit, my friends!

BLT Salad with Arugula, Feta & Balsamic Vinaigrette
Ingredients:Salad:6 slices thick-cut bacon4 cups baby arugula 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Vinaigrette:1/4 cup balsamic vinegar3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the bacon and fry until crisp, turning often, about 5 minutes per slice.  Transfer to a wire rack or to a plate lined with paper towels and drain. 

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette - Place the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in an air tight container.  Shake to thoroughly combine.

Once the bacon has cooled, chop or tear into small pieces.

Toss the arugula in a large bowl, along with the tomatoes, bacon and desired amount of balsamic vinaigrette, reserving the remaining vinaigrette for later use.  Sprinkle the feta cheese over the top.


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