Salad

BLT Salad with Romaine Hearts and Avocado Ranch Dressing

Prep time: 20 minutes • Cook time: 15 minutes

Yields: 4 Servings

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Ingredients

  • Avocado Ranch:
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 4 pieces
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½-¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup buttermilk or milk (for thinning, you may need more)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Salad:
  • 1 bag Organic Romaine Hearts (stems trimmed, heads halved lengthwise or quartered if large)
  • Avocado Ranch Dressing
  • 24 cherry tomatoes halved
  • Croutons (see easy recipe below or buy at store)
  • Candied bacon (see recipe below)
  • Roquefort or other blue cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

The classic American sandwich is even tastier in salad form. This recipe makes more dressing than you’ll need for the BLT Salad, but it keeps for at least a week and it’s not only a salad dressing—it’s a great dip for any crispy vegetable or crudité platter.

Make the dressing:

In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, avocado, lemon juice, garlic powder, and ¼ cup of buttermilk. Process until very smooth. Add a bit more buttermilk if you like a looser dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the BLT Salad:

Rinse the romaine and pat dry. Arrange the halved heads on plates or a platter. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the cherry tomatoes, croutons, candied bacon, and blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

How to Make Killer Croutons (Prep in less than 5 minutes):

Cut a slice of sourdough bread and finish tearing it into bite-sized pieces by hand. Toss with a bit of olive oil and salt; bake in the toaster oven or a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until browned and crisp. TIP: While you’re at it, make extra croutons and let cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container for later use. This is an especially great use for leftover bread that’s gone dry. Talk about a tasty way to reduce food waste!

How to Make Candied Bacon:

 

Fun tip: there are so many yummy things you can do with this bacon candy, like scattering it on roasted carrots or brussels sprouts, tossing it with popcorn or peanuts or in a spinach salad, or even on a nut butter sandwich for a flavorful surprise.

Most recipes for candied bacon call for candying the strips in the oven, which is more cumbersome and time consuming—great if you like shiny strips but not for candied bits like here, to be used for garnishing.

6 slices thick-cut meaty bacon, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into
1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons light brown sugar

In a medium nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring frequently to separate the pieces, until browned, about 4 minutes. Drain the bacon in a sieve set over a heatproof bowl.

Add the sugar to the skillet and stir over moderately high heat until melted, about 20 seconds. Add the drained bacon and stir constantly until well coated and evenly caramelized, about 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a plate and spread out the pieces; they’ll crisp up as they cool.

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