…..now that I have your attention, lets call it a BLAT salad. As in bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato salad.
I first saw this salad while stalking Deb Perelman’s blog (my inspiration for many recipes). While titled “Grilled Bacon Salad with Arugula and Balsamic”, I couldn’t help but think “BLT Salad”. One of my favorite sandwiches is now a salad? Sign me up!
Although Deb’s salad looked amazing, I had to bring it closer to my BLAT vision. I substituted campari tomatoes for the grape tomatoes, because I really only like grape tomatoes if they are cooked in something (like this), and wanted to pack more of a tomato punch into this dish. I also thought the salad needed some sort of crouton, because who eats a BLT without the bread? And because the only thing better than a BLT is a BLAT, I added sliced avocado.
Now, I’m giving you two options for cooking the bacon/toasting the croutons. The original recipe calls for grilling the bacon…..great idea on a hot day and don’t want to cook inside. However, I had a lot of flare up using a low flame and the thicker cut bacon was easier on the grill and had less flare ups. Alternatively (if you are making this during cooler weather OR have air conditioning), you can bake the crouton and bacon in the oven.
You may be asking yourself…is it healthy???? Of course it is, its a salad, isn’t it? (who will get the reference?) Healthy or not, this salad is awesome….so awesome that the entire platter meant to serve 4 was devoured by 2 rose’ drinking ladies last night.
BLAT Salad (inspired by Smitten Kitchen)
Use a good quality, thick cut bacon (especially if using grill). High quality parmesan, balsamic vinegar and olive oil are key here as well. If you live in the New York City area, I swear by the balsamic vinegar sold in bulk at The Meat Hook in Brooklyn. While here, pick up your organic, humanely raised bacon, organic local tomatoes and arugula. They will also have high quality cheese and olive oil. I guess you could call this the “Meat Hook Salad”!
3/4 pound (12 ounces or 340 grams) tomatos (I used Campari tomatoes), sliced into wedges
6 ounces ((170 grams) arugula, washed and dried
1 ounce freshly shaved parmesan (use a veggie peeler to shave off slices)
1 ripe avocado, sliced
high quality balsamic vinegar (should by thick and syrupy)
high quality olive oil
salt and pepper
Layer arugula, then tomato, avocado and parmesan in salad bowl/platter. Sprikle with salt and pepper. Set aside while preparing crouton and bacon.
4 thick slices hearty white bread (about 6 ounces or 170 grams)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
Brush bread with olive oil and grill until lightly toast OR bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Arrange around edge of salad platter.
8 ounces (227 grams) bacon, preferably thick cut
Grill bacon over a low flame on a bbq grill 3-4 minutes per side or bake in a 400 degree oven (lay strips out on a cold cookie sheet before placing in oven) 20-30 minutes. Use you judgement….some people like their bacon crispier than others. If grilling, watch very carefully, as bacon goes from medium to burnt before you know it.
Finish the Salad:
Chop bacon in 1 inch chunks. Sprinkle over top of arugula mixture. Drizzle liberally with balsamic and olive oil.
Gently toss and divide among 4 plates.