Are you planning a 4th of July cookout? I'm not. I'll be working this 4th of July (cue the violins, sob sob). But if I were planning my cookout this would be on the top of the list. This salad is fantastic - all fresh and crunchy with hints of sweet from the currants and hits of extra crunch, courtesy of the smoked almonds. And it's pretty too. Happy 4th of July!
Red Cabbage Salad with Bacon-Balsamic Dressing
adapted from Bon Appetit
4 to 6 strips of bacon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/2 cup dried currants
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1/2 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and saute until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pan and place on a paper towel to drain. Discard all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings. Add shallot to remaining bacon drippings and saute about 1 minute. Add dried currants and saute for one more minute. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and gently simmer for a few minutes until dressing becomes a bit thick and syrupy. Be careful not to burn the balsamic vinegar. Remove pan from heat and whisk in olive oil.
Pour balsamic dressing over sliced cabbage and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Add almonds and parsley; toss to blend.