Sonia and I are on a journey to find a suitable replacement for bacon in our baconless life. The desire becomes heightened as warm weather settles in for the summer, because the heirloom tomatoes in the garden, with barely a bloom to be had yet, beckon for BLT’s when nothing else will do. Found a few coconut bacon recipes floating around the web. Liquid smoke took some looking into because it sounds a bit scary. Not to worry, it’s just hickory smoke run through water – distilled like flower waters, I guess.
It’s a long wait for “Spring” vegetables through April and May. Rhubarb, the first strawberries, baby greens, and asparagus are quite the tease, but it’s late June’s sugar snap peas and new potatoes that really make me happy. I’ve blanched the asparagus, broccoli, and peas in this salad. Just enough to brighten the spring green color. I’m not a big fan of raw vegetables. Some shaved Manchego cheese paired with the paprika added a southern Spanish flair. Go with smoked paprika if you want more smokiness.
- 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes, large
- 1 tablespoon tamari or light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Makes 1 cup - save extra in an airtight container in the fridge
- 1 butterhead lettuce
- 2 cups steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas, and asparagus
- Shaved Manchego or Parmesan cheese to garnish
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- Toss all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Scatter the coconut evenly, in 1 layer, and place in a 350 degree oven for 16 minutes, or until a nice toasty brown. Cool before adding to salad.
- Place a handful of greens and divide the vegetables onto 4 plates. Arrange vegetables artfully. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and serve on the side. Garnish with micro-greens, red amaranth leaves, coconut bacon, and shaved cheese.
Sometimes the grass is too pretty to mow.
We’re busy in the gardens, if you were wondering where we’ve been. We are so good at growing weeds!