The BLT is so modest; all you need is good bacon, good bread, a ripe tomato, and crisp lettuce. It generally needs no uplift or makeover to make it delicious; maybe a smear of mayo, or a few slices of avocado – but overall if the BLT ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But then again, when a local winemaker drops off five or six pounds of tomatoes at your workplace and you have a day old baguette sitting on your counter, the idea of turning sandwich to salad seems like a pretty solid plan.
About a month ago or so, I had a BLT salad at a food truck for a very reasonable price of $6. For starters, the salad was quite large and did not skimp on ingredients; tomatoes, bacon, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, avocado, and dill – all tossed together with arugula and fried croutons in a creamy ranch dressing. First of all, wrap your head around the idea of fried bread; it’s so wrong and so right in so many ways – a light and airy crunch to complement every fresh bite of garden greens, tomatoes, and bacon confetti.
Ever since having that salad, I knew that I wanted to, no, I needed to recreate it. And so, with a day-old baguette begging to be made into croutons, and more tomatoes than could fit between to slices of bread, I set out to the store to pick up a few additional ingredients.
One of the many reasons I love Amber is because cooking and eating is one of the primary shapers of our day, and we had looked forward to BLT salad since we decided that the remaining baguette would be used for croutons.
Speaking of shaping my day, it’s pretty amazing to see how quickly my writer’s block has diminished since I have had the heavy weight of strife lifted; knowing that for the first time in a while, I’m a little more financially secure. The other day, I wanted to write, and I sat down and started writing. No hiccups or hindrances at all.
There was a very dark time not so long ago where, some days, I didn’t feel like I want to write anymore. I didn’t want to stop writing just at that moment; I want to stop writing, always. I hadn’t been dutiful journaler; in fact, I hadn’t been a very good writer, reader, or doer of anything. It’s wasn’t that there weren’t enough hours in the day as much as it was, my brain feeling incapable of mentally taxing tasks. I would sit down to write in the morning and immediately become distracted. When I tried to focus, I became discouraged quicker than usual. I felt vulnerable and untalented on those days.
Now, clear mind and open heart, I’m writing beautifully, prolifically, and as regularly as possible. Creative freedom allows for experimenting in the kitchen and more cooking – making this BLT salad possible. And so, now that I’ve been given back the ability to be creative, I give you this recipe (I know it has been awhile since I’ve posted one).
Oh yeah – and I washed it down with a tasty glass of Blanc de Blancs. 🙂
Creamy ranch dressing
½ Cup Greek-style yogurt
1 TBSP dill
¼ TBSP thyme
1 TBSP parsley
Juice of one lemon
1 TBSP finely chopped chives
½ TSP Dijon mustard
2 dashes hot sauce
Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
Heirloom tomatoes, sliced
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Bacon, rough chopped
Ciliegine (fresh mozzarella balls), sliced in half
½ loaf day-old bread, cut into bite-sized cubes
Mixed greens or arugula
Preheat oven to 375. Toss bread cubes with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and lightly browned. (Or if you have a deep fryer – fry those babies up 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned)
Toss greens with croutons and add ingredients to taste and toss with dressing.