Asparagus Strawberry Salad

Ingredients:
4 slices bacon
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
about 30 fresh asparagus spears, tough ends removed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 (16 ounce) container fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
6 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
freshly ground pepper, to taste
optional: orange zest for garnishing
toasted pecans

For the toasted pecans:
1 cup whole pecans 
1/2 stick salted butter
1/2 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Directions:
1. Toast the pecans by melting 1/2 stick butter in a skillet. Add 1 cup whole pecans and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. (Watch carefully because you don't want them to burn!) Remove from the heat and add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir to mix thoroughly and set aside to cool.
2. Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain the bacon grease but do not wipe out the skillet. Drain the bacon on paper towels and then crumble.
3. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the skillet. Heat over medium heat and stir to loosen any brown bits on the bottom. Remove from heat, add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice. Stir to combine and set aside.
4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 400 degrees
5. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Bake the asparagus for about 10 minutes (until crisp tender.) Remove from the oven. 
6. Arrange the roasted asparagus on a large serving platter. Spoon the sliced strawberries evenly over the asparagus, top with the crumbled bacon,feta cheese, freshly ground pepper, and toasted pecans. Garnish with orange zest, if desired. 
7. When ready to serve, drizzle with the dressing or serve the dressing on the side.



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