It's the gateway meat, right? At the top of the list of "oh, I could never give up _____" when people find out I'm a vegetarian. And yeah, I really thought I would miss it. But in the 2.5 years since we stopped eating meat, I haven't! Yes, pleasantly surprised by that.
But guess what? We have discovered a pretty happy surprise. An unexpected food preparation that does a pretty good job subbing for bacon in recipes that really just cry out for that bit of fatty, salty goodness.
Toss with a little olive oil to coat. Spread on a pan. A generous salt and pepper. Roast at 450° for around 30 minutes or so until you have a nice mix of golden brown and black pieces. Give it a couple of stirs so the bits around the edges that get really crispy don't turn to complete charcoal. Pure deliciousness mixed into soups and salads. A little bit sweet. A little bit fatty with oil. A little bit salty. A little bit crispy and a little bit chewy. All the things that use to make bacon so irresistible. Not exactly bacon but pretty damn good in anything that would benefit from bacon.
Last night, we had it with this tomato chowder. I made some adjustments...a little more potato, a bit less tomato. Vegetable broth and I added some barley as well. The chowder was decent but the corn bits really made the difference. This corn soup is the recipe that turned us onto the roasted corn. It's amazingly delicious. If you're only going to make one corn-bacon soup, make that one ;)
Bacon? Not necessary but still, a pretty great flavor.