Zucchini and Tomato Salad with Bacon Orange Dressing

Dire straits often yield interesting, innovative, inspired, outcomes.  My kitchen dire straits often arrive at week’s end, just before we buy groceries for the coming week, when the cupboard is at its barest.  OK, so my “bare” may be many people’s “laden” but that’s another topic altogether.  Today, I need to make a veggie dish of some type for our dinner.  I had zucchini, some cherry tomatoes, and scallions.  I did a zucchini and tomato salad, with scallion and bacon bits, and orange juice-based dressing.

Bring 1/2 C of orange juice to a boil and reduce to a simmer; reduce to about 1/4 C.

Cut two bacon slices crosswise into 1/4″ pieces.  Line a bowl with paper towel (to soak up bacon fat) and microwave  the bacon for  about one minute.  Remove the paper towel and microwave the bacon some more until crispy; it will render some more fat.  Remove bacon bits to a paper towel and add the bacon fat, about 1 Tsp, to the orange juice.

Meanwhile, slice zucchini thinly, 1/16″ or less: my kingdom for a mandolin!  Actually, with a sharp knife, it didn’t take too long to slice up a couple of zucchinis.  Thicker slices is OK too, if you like your salad crunchy (I don’t, much).

Cut cherry tomatoes in halves (which makes them a lot easier to eat; chasing little spherical objects around a bowl with a fork is no fun).  Thinly slice two scallions.

For dressing: add about 2 T olive oil to orange juice/bacon fat mixture.  Add salt and pepper and about 2 tsps red wine vinegar.  I also threw in a bit of orange zest. Whisk until emulsified.

Toss zucchini, tomato, and scallions in dressing. Sprinkle with bacon bits just before serving.