I hated BLT night growing up.
I also hated beets. Brussel sprouts. Dried beef gravy (is this made only my family?). Tunafish or egg salad lunches. Pot roast. Hamburgers. Pickled eggs. Breakfast in general. Steak.
But BLT night was my nemesis. I just wasn’t a fan of bacon. WHHAATT??? True. My breakfast meat of choice was sausage. Had they been SLT sandwiches, I would have been all over those like white on rice. But bacon? Ugh. What a chore. And then there was the whole toast situation…kids don’t like toast. Or crust, which is what bread becomes when it is toasted. One big piece of crust, which was only edible when well coated with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Or grape jelly, spread lovingly by your mother – because, seriously, even at 29…a piece of toast, buttered and jellied by mom tastes better than if the Julia Child had done it. Am I right, or am I right? How to properly spread jam and butter on toast is taught in child birthing class….this I am sure of.
Thankfully, I grew out of this (and the rest of my dislikes). And it has turned into one of my most comforting meals during the summer. My absolute adoration of bacon helped turn the tables. I can not be trusted with bacon. I can only prepare what I plan on using. There is no, making the whole one pound and storing the leftovers in the fridge and tossing a bit in my eggs for breakfast or crumbling a slice or two in my salad for lunch or mixing it in soup for dinner. No. I will just snack on the bacon, all day long. Instead of a granola bar…2 slices of bacon. How about carrot sticks and hummus? Ha, good one. 2 more slices of bacon. Apple? Hehe, you are funny. Bacon. It is like I am making up for lost time. Trust me friends, I am not joking. I will actually snack on bacon. Do not do this.
How do you like your BLT? All-American soft white bread or thick and crusty sourdough? Toasted? And do you slather mayo all over that bad boy? I’ll take my BLT with real mayo, iceberg lettuce (no fancy stuff here), and sourdough (or anything thick and crusty) toasted. And, well, with avocado. I know, I know, I know. BLT sacrilege, right? Lets call it a California BLT and be done with it. The smoothness and creaminess of the avocado adds such a great texture contrast to the crispy and crunchy bacon, lettuce, and toast. How come mid-westerners call anything with an avocado, Californian? Suppose Californians order Ohio BLTs or Iowa chicken club sandwiches when they don’t want avocados?
But hey we aren’t eating a sandwich today. Nah, I figured I would deconstruct the sandwich and toss together a salad. So this really isn’t a recipe, because who needs a recipe for a salad? It is more like a plan…a little bit of this, a touch of that, and adjust to taste. Salads are super simple and great for the summer, or at least what we have left of summer. This would be great as the main dish or perfect along side a juicy hamburger.
And I am off to eat the rest of that bacon…
|BLT Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette|
- 1/2 Loaf of day old French, Italian, or Sourdough bread ( I used Italian)
- 4-6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed (not chopped)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Ripe Avocado, pitt removed and scooped out of shell
- 1 Large Handful Fresh Cilantro (about 1/2-3/4 Cup)
- 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
And the remaining bits and pieces…
- 6-8 slices of Bacon, cooked and roughly chopped.
- Tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- About 6-8 Cups of Lettuce – a good mix of arugula and romaine
- salt and pepper
- Make the croutons first. Preheat oven to 200F.
- Cut stale bread into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes ( no need to measure, just guess) and spread them out evenly, in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- In a small saucepan, combine olive oil and crushed garlic. Saute garlic for about 3 minutes ( you do not want the garlic to brown). Remove from heat and discard garlic.
- Pour olive oil over bread cubes and toss to coat. Place in oven and bake for about 40-60 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them. I prefer mine to be a bit chewy in the center, so I removed mine after 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- While the croutons are baking, prepare the salad dressing. In a food processor, combine the avocado, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
- Toss together bacon, lettuce, tomato, and croutons. Drizzle with salad dressing. Enjoy!
A quick note note on the bacon. Feel free to use thick cut or regular. And cook it to your liking. Chewy and meaty or extra crispy. There is no wrong or right here. I prefer baking bacon…line a baking sheet with tinfoil and place a cooling rack onto the baking sheet. Evenly spread bacon out on rack without overlap and back in a 350F preheated oven until desired doneness is reached. Otherwise, just fry it up on the stove top!