- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and lay bacon in long strips. Sprinkle brown sugar over bacon until it is covered in a light layer of sugar. Bake for 12−15 minutes or until bacon is brown in color. Slice into lardons (thin strips). Reserve for garnish.
- For cider vinaigrette dressing, combine vinegar, granulated sugar, mustard, and garlic in a food processor. While running processor, slowly add olive oil until the dressing is fully emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- In a large stainless steel mixing bowl, combine cucumber, onion, basil, and enough dressing to lightly coat the ingredients. Toss to mix and chill for at least one hour. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve the marinated salad over watercress, arugula, or spring mix. Garnish with the reserved bacon and cracked pepper.