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Peas and Kale Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

- Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Vanessa McNeil Rocchio
Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Vanessa McNeil Rocchio

Ensure that 2015 is a lucky and prosperous year when you serve this hearty Southern salad for your New Year's Day festivities.

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

10 slices thick applewood-smoked bacon

1 (1-lb.) package frozen black-eyed peas

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 medium-size fresh thyme sprig

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 (5-oz.) package baby kale

1 (8-oz.) package sweet mini peppers, thinly sliced

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

How to Make It

Preheat oven to 425°. Arrange bacon in a single layer on a wire rack in a jelly-roll pan; bake 20 minutes. Turn bacon; bake 5 more minutes or until crisp. Cool 5 minutes; chop. Reserve 3 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. drippings.

Stir together peas, next 4 ingredients, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. bacon drippings in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until peas are tender. Drain peas, and discard garlic and thyme.

Sauté onion in remaining 3 Tbsp. hot drippings in a large skillet over medium heat 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds or until smooth and slightly thickened. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly. Stir in pea mixture, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Toss together parsley and kale in a large bowl. Top with peppers and warm pea mixture. Sprinkle with chopped bacon and parsley, and serve immediately.

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