Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, & Tomato) Salad

The tomatoes in my garden finally took off about a week ago. I was thrilled to be able to start making some of my favorite summer-time recipes. I made the amazing cherry tomato tart on Friday and plan to make another one tomorrow. I have also made lots of bacon and tomato sandwiches for Greg. Since I am still trying to continue eating a lower carb diet, I have been making myself BLT Salads instead. The BLT salad starts with some hearts of romaine lettuce, then is topped with lots of juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon, Parmesan cheese, fresh basil leaves,  avocado, Panko bread crumbs, and a garlicky buttermilk dressing. I also added some fresh mozzarella to the salad the other night when I realized I had a little bit leftover from when I made the cherry tomato tart. I asked Greg to photograph the BLT salad before dinner. He told me that he didn't want salad because he was craving another bacon and tomato sandwich for dinner for the third night in a row. As he was photographing the salad, I asked him how many sandwiches he wanted, and his response was "I think I want this salad instead - it looks really good!" Greg told me the salad was very different from the sandwich, but just as tasty of a meal, if not better. If you want a really yummy salad that is loaded with lots of summer-time flavors and vitamin C (tomatoes are very high in this), then give this salad a go. You will not be disappointed!

Recipe for BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, & Tomato) Salad

For the salad

2 cups of hearts of Romaine lettuce
4 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 medium Hass avocado, chopped
1/4 Tbsp. of grated Parmesan cheese
4 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
4 leaves of fresh basil, torn 
2 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (optional)
2 tsp. of Panko bread crumbs (optional)
For the dressing
3 Tbsp. of mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. of buttermilk
1 clove of garlic, pressed
A couple pinches of black pepper
1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Make the bacon first. I bake bacon rather than fry it to avoid the mess. If you prefer, you can fry it instead! To bake the bacon, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Lay bacon in a single layer on top of the parchment paper and then put into the oven for about 15 minutes. When bacon is cooked, remove from oven. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate with tongs or a fork and blot out the excess grease.

While the bacon is cooking, chop up the tomatoes, avocado, and mozzarella. Then prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, garlic, black pepper, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. Set aside or cover and put into the fridge. Divide the 2 cups of romaine lettuce onto two salad plates. Add the chopped tomatoes on top. Then add on the chopped avocado, 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Parmesan per salad, 2 pieces of torn fresh basil per salad, 1 tsp. of Panko bread crumbs per salad (optional), and 1 ounce of fresh mozzarella per salad (optional). Then crumble the bacon on top of each. Top each salad with desired amount of dressing and serve. Enjoy!

Recipe Adapted from: Annie's Eats

Recipe makes 2 BLT salads.