BLT Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: good for 2 large entrĂ©e, dinner salads, or a few small as a side
 
Make salad taste better, by making it taste just like a classic BLT! We get all the flavors of this delicious sandwich by oven crisping bacon, adding fresh baby heirloom tomatoes, homemade garlic sourdough croutons, and a mayo and balsamic dressing. umm umm good! Perfect on a warmer night, and down right tasty, enjoy!
What to get:
Ingredients are for about 2 large entree dinner salads:
  • 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)
For the garlic croutons:
  • 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
For the dressing (it will be thicker than standard oil-based dressings):
  • 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
What to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all crouton ingredients and stir-in the cubed bread, coating well.
  3. 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.
  4. On a 2nd baking sheet, evenly spread coated bread cubes for baking (You can place both pans in oven to bake simultaneously).
  5. Bake the bacon until crispy/browned (thicker slices will take longer - ranges from 20-35 min).
  6. Remove cooked bacon and drain/blot with paper towels, cool on wire rack preferably, set aside.
  7. Bake croutons till crisp & browned, but not overly hardened (anywhere from 10-20 min), stir once during.
  8. 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).
  9. Chop spinach/romaine heart well, and add into salad bowl.
  10. Add halved baby heirloom tomatoes.
  11. Toss salad mix with dressing to coat well (add desired amount).
  12. To this mix add the crumbled/chopped crispy bacon & croutons.
  13. Drizzle additional dressing on top & serve!
Notes:
I prefer to oven bake my bacon strips for this as it leaves my stove mess free and they come out perfectly even and crispy, which is exactly the texture we need! Just remember to cook them long enough for thicker strips, and let cool on rack to make sure they're crispy.
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.
Serving size: 2 large, or 4 small
Recipe by the dinnervine at http://www.dinnervine.com/2012/09/blt-salad/