Backroads Bibb Salad

Backroads Bibb Salad with Pickled Watermelon Rinds

Check our Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen Blog Post – In Praise of the True Southern Watermelon

Backroads Bibb Salad with Pickled Watermelon Rinds

  • ½ head Bibb lettuce
  • 1/3 cup Pimento Cheese
  • 2 ounces Bacon Vinaigrette
  • 1/3 cup Pickled Watermelon Rinds
  • ¼ cup Spiced Pecans

Pickled Watermelon Rinds

  • 8 pounds watermelon
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp pureéd fresh ginger
  • yellow peel from one lemon
  • 2 tbsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp whole cloves

Remove rind from watermelon and reserve red part to enjoy at your leisure (or for the Backroads Bibb Salad). Using a vegetable peeler, remove the green skin from the rind and discard the skin. Cut rind into ½ inch pieces. This should yield about 8 cups. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons salt and 4 cups of water and allow rind to soak in the brine for one hour, then drain. In a large pot, combine lemon juice, 1 cup of water, sugar, ginger puree, lemon peel and spices. Add rind, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered over medium-low, for 40 minutes or until rind is translucent. With a slotted spoon, transfer rind to a plastic container. Strain liquid and pour over rind. Makes 4 cups.

Bacon Vinaigrette

  • ¾ pound sliced bacon
  • ½ cup diced yellow onions
  • 5 ounces light brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Texas Pete sauce
  • 3 cups canola oil

Render bacon. Remove from pan and drain. Sauté onions in bacon fat, over medium heat. When onions are golden, add sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and stir in Dijon, vinegar, salt, Worcestershire, and Texas Pete. Combine well, scraping bottom of pan. Transfer mixture to a plastic container (if using an immersion blender), or a food processor, and slowly add oil while immersion blender or food processor is running. When all oil is incorporated, stir in crumbled bacon. Makes 1 quart.

Recipe: Pimento Cheese

  • 1 pound extra sharp white cheddar cheese
  • ½ pound diced roasted red peppers
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Grate cheese and add to a large mixing bowl. Drain excess liquid from diced roasted red peppers and add to cheese. Toss to combine. In a separate mixing bowl combine mayonnaise and lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Pour mayonnaise mixture over cheese and using a kitchen spoon, mix until well blended. Makes about 3 cups.

Recipe: Spiced Pecans

  • 1 pound pecan pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp salt

Line a sheet pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Drain well. Fry pecans in deep fat (we use canola oil) for 60 seconds. Remove and allow to drain and cool. Turn pecans out on the prepared sheet pan, spreading into a single layer. Allow to cool. Makes 1 pound.

To assemble the salad: Arrange half head of Bibb lettuce in the center of a large plate. Drizzle with bacon vinaigrette. Crumble Pimento Cheese on top, and sprinkle with pickles and pecans. Makes 1 serving.

Disclaimer: All our recipes were originally designed for much larger batch size. This recipe has been reduced – but not tested at this scale. Please adjust as to your taste and portion size.

© 1989-2017. This recipe is the property of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants, LLC. Unauthorized commercial use is forbidden.

 

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