There is nothing better than a classic, and when it comes to classic sandwiches, I don’t think there is one more desirable than a BLT. Simple and satisfying. Ripe tomato, meets salty bacon, meets toasted bread, meets crisp lettuce, and it’s married together with creamy mayo. I’ve been trying to eat more salad and work more greens into my diet as of late, but couldn’t bring myself to really crave one for dinner! I realized I had a package of bacon to use, which always gets me thinking of a BLT, but I then noticed my loaf of sourdough was stale; well shoot! Then it dawned on me, this was the perfect opportunity to turn my fav sandwich into a crave-worthy salad! So, that’s where the BLT salad was born. We will make a chopped version with fresh baby spinach and romaine hearts. To this we’ll add organic mixed baby heirloom tomatoes, our oven-baked crispy bacon, and baked garlic-sourdough croutons. We’re going to tie it together with a little creamy balsamic we’ll mix up. Now we have the flavors of our sandwich in a bowl, and we’re getting our greens in while we’re at it! I feel better about this salad stuff already.
Easy assembly is never a bad thing, plus this is tasty. Let the oven do the work for the garlic croutons and the bacon, leaving your range mess free. Some chopping, and here you too can have it . . . .
- 6 strips, thick-cut maple bacon *(~3+ for a one large salad)
- 1 package fresh baby spinach, stems removed, chopped finely (~2 cups chopped per large salad)
- 1 package romaine heart lettuce (chop ~1 cup's worth per salad)
- 1 pint package baby mix heirloom tomatoes, or grape tomatoes, cut in half (~1.25 cups per salad)
- 3 large slices, thick, sourdough bread, (preferably whole wheat, slightly stale OK, cubed)
- ½ tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 T and 1 tsp EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 tsp garlic-infused EVOO (Mine is from WeOlive)
- 1.5 T grated Romano cheee (or Parm will work)
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning mix
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 T mayo (Best Foods, I use Light)
- 1 tsp balsamic (my aged balsamic was too sweet, so I used regular balsamic)
- ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
- small pinch lemon zest
- S & P to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all crouton ingredients and stir-in the cubed bread, coating well.
- On a foil lined baking sheet with rims, arrange bacon slices for baking in oven (or you can skillet crisp and drain on paper towels.
- On a 2nd baking sheet, evenly spread coated bread cubes for baking (You can place both pans in oven to bake simultaneously).
- Bake the bacon until crispy/browned (thicker slices will take longer - ranges from 20-35 min).
- Remove cooked bacon and drain/blot with paper towels, cool on wire rack preferably, set aside.
- Bake croutons till crisp & browned, but not overly hardened (anywhere from 10-20 min), stir once during.
- In small mixing bowl, whisk salad dressing ingredients, adding more mayo and/or balsamic to taste (this will be very thick, but by tossing into chopped greens it coats well).
- Chop spinach/romaine heart well, and add into salad bowl.
- Add halved baby heirloom tomatoes.
- Toss salad mix with dressing to coat well (add desired amount).
- To this mix add the crumbled/chopped crispy bacon & croutons.
- Drizzle additional dressing on top & serve!
This salad really does taste just like a BLT sandwich and we get in some extra greens by adding healthy spinach and lots of it! Add more or less of the greens and dressing as desired.
The crispy homemade croutons mimic our standard sandwich bread, and man are they difficult not to sample while in the oven(and a great way to utilize slightly stale bread)! Our mayo balsamic dressing brings that sandwich condiment element into this, but with a zesty twist.
One good thing about salad is it’s easy, but also you’re free to add more-of-this, and less-of-that, as you so desire. Easily customizable, you can add less or more bacon (I can tell you I went for the ‘more’ side myself). If you prefer more dressing on this, just double the amounts listed in the recipe above. I find that this salad turns out really well if you thinly chop the greens. Something about the creamy balsamic over a chopped salad with bacon that has me wanting seconds. I don’t think I’ve ever said that about a salad before! In fact, this one is going to be making a comeback on my table this week I have a feeling… Bacon really does make a long, Monday seem better, not to mention making generic ole’ greens more delectable.
I hope you enjoy!Pin It