Food You Can Eat: Ina Garten’s Cape Cod Chopped Salad

A taste of Fall in every crispy bite

An illegible map of Cape Cod lighthouses, for reference

It has been ages since I posted an Ina Garten recipe and I don’t know why. She is such a great resource for every kind of food craving imaginable.

Now that Fall is here, here’s a good seasonal lunch or side. I’ve included the recipe for the dressing, which I’ve never made, but I really should at some point. As far as I know there’s nothing commercially available that replicates this so use what you’d like. There’s so much going on in this salad that I’d go for something very light, despite Ina’s (always infallible) choice, or maybe don’t pat the arugula as dry  as you normally would and moisten the salad that way. I do that sometimes. And notice what she does with the bacon. This is excellent and should be remembered for other uses.

This supposedly serves 4, I guess as a side, but in my lighthouse I made slightly (50%) more and it was a good lunch for 2.

8 ounces thick-cut bacon, such as Niman Ranch
8 ounces baby arugula
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
½ cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
6 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons good apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup good olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and lay the bacon slices on the rack. Roast the bacon for about 20 minutes, until nicely browned. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, apple, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese.

For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, mustard, maple syrup, 1½ teaspoons salt, and the pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Chop the bacon in large pieces and add it to the salad. Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and toss well. Serve immediately.



    • There was a restaurant in Provincetown years ago that had like a floor show, or a cabaret singer in drag I guess, who sang a parody of this song. To this day I can only remember the parody, not the original.

      If you like the taste
      Of a rancid steeeeew
      Served by a waitron
      With an attituuuude
      You’re sure to fall in love
      With old Cape Cod




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