Paleo = lots of bacon and steak eaters throwing kettle bells around and comparing how much weight they benched. That was my first impression when a co-worker told me she was going to the ‘dark side’. “Ewh,” I thought. I could never live off red meat and I don’t belong to a Crossfit gym. Fast forward a few years – I hopped on board and life has never been the same. I don’t devour bacon much despite my initial paleo stereotype, but for this warm bacon arugula salad with candied cantaloupe, I had to make an exception.
Bacon is good – I dig it but I never CRAVE it. Which I figured was a good thing. But once I combined crispy bacon with zesty arugula and honey glazed cantaloupe and I was done for. I want to eat this salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And you guys, when I go for it, I go big. There’s no skimpiage of bacon goodness here. We’ve got it sprinkled all over this salad, combined in the glaze of the candied cantaloupe, and incorporated into the warm, bacon-y dressing. GO BIG OR GO HOME.
Ok so I’m now ‘officially’ paleo. Bacon and all. I still don’t know if I’m truly in the club, since the Crossfit thing still isn’t in my repertoire, but I’m starting a new trend of barre-lovin’ paleo ladies that prefer fish or chicken but still love da bacon from time to time. Let’s make it a revolution! WHO’S WITH ME?
Bacon and caps are apparently my thing today. So if we are trying to make some serious statements with all capitol letters, I need to include: CANDIED CANTALOUPE IS THE BOMB
WOAH, crispy bacon and sweet honey cantaloupe = LORD HAVE MERCY. It all combines beautifully with toasted pine nuts for crunch and a warm olive oil honey bacon dressing. So much flavor in every ‘lil bite you guys. So much yum. I mean, this goes without saying because men <3 bacon, but my hubby pretty much died and went to heaven eating this. And he’s not even big on salads (like most men I know).
This is perfect salad to throw together and bring to a party for everyone to drool over. Cause nothing says ‘I’m a meat-eating, sophisticated foodie that loves a ‘lil sweet and salty’ like this warm bacon arugula salad with candied cantaloupe.
No skimping here, just pile that arugula with aaaaaaall the bacon and tons of cantaloupe, then basically pour those pine nuts on like you’re making it rain in da club. Salad-making dance parties by yourself is always ok. I know from experience.
And don’t forget the drizzle this puppy with that warm olive oil, bacon, and honey dressing. It adds just the right bit of flavor with hints of savory bacon and sweet tones of honey. The dressing is served best warm, so if you’re making ahead of time, just microwave a few seconds before drizzling it all over this warm bacon arugula salad with candied cantaloupe.
Time Saver Tip
There are so many ways to prep this salad beforehand. To save on time, cut the cantaloupe into large pieces (about 2″ big) and store in the refrigerator. You can also make the bacon beforehand and simply reheat in the microwave before adding to the salad to serve. Make sure you reserve just a little over 3 tablespoons of bacon grease for the dressing and sautéing the cantaloupe.
Warm Bacon Arugula Salad with Candied Cantaloupe (paleo)
- Yield: 4 servings
- 5 ounces arugula
- 1 1/2 cups cubed cantaloupe (2″ pieces)
- 16 ounces bacon (1 package)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon bacon grease
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Set aside
- Drain the bacon grease into a glass container, leaving the pan slightly coated with grease and any leftover bacon bits
- Turn heat back to medium/high and add 1 tablespoon of honey. Once honey starts to simmer slightly, add the cantaloupe, making sure the pieces are not too small in order to avoid them getting soggy
- Sauté the cantaloupe for 1-2 minutes, then flip to sauté another 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan
- As bacon and cantaloupe are cooking, toast the pine nuts (optional) by placing them on a baking sheet an placing into the oven to broil on high for a few minutes (watch closely so the nuts don’t burn)
- Combine the cooked elements to the arugula
- To make the dressing, combine 1 tablespoon bacon grease (and any small bits of bacon ), 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon honey. Mix well and drizzle over the salad just before serving