From Sam Kass’ Eat a Little Better cookbook: “Yep, eating better can mean eating bacon. Especially when you use it as a gateway to good stuff like cabbage and peppers. Here, the salty, porky product contributes its powers of persuasion—both in crispy fried bits and as flavorful fat—to a two-ingredient dressing. Drizzled on warm, it just barely softens the sturdy vegetables, coaxing out their sweetness while keeping their crunch. This dressing is also great on sturdy raw greens and lettuces (such as spinach, radicchio, and frisée) or simple roasted vegetables like green beans, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.”
small head of red cabbage, bruised outer leaves removed, very thinly sliced
medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into long, thin strips
bacon slices, cut into about ½-inch pieces
plus 2 tablespoons sherry or apple cider vinegar
to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Combine the cabbage and pepper in a large bowl. If they’re cold, let them come to room temperature.
Put the bacon in a large heavy skillet, set it over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it releases its fat and turns brown and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the vinegar and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt.
While it’s still warm, pour the dressing over the cabbage and pepper and toss well. Season with more salt to taste.