The BLT Salad

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As promised, here’s another one of my favorite salads! This one is super easy to make and assemble, is gluten free and still satisfies the hunger as a dinner salad because of the inclusion of ample amounts of bacon. The broiled tomatoes are one of my favorite additions to almost any meal and shine as a salad accompaniment. For the dressing; olive oil, lemon, grated parmesan and tons of pepper create a balance between the light crisp acid and the heavy, spicy pepper. To further establish this as a dinner salad, I added a serving of one of my favorite super foods ~lentils~ so I guess it should really be called a BLLT salad. Lentils are high in protein and fiber, have a significant amount of folate and magnesium (for your heart), are a good source of minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc AND provide antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C! I’m not sure when it happened but sometime between 25 and 29, everything good for me started sounding and tasting more delicious. Except bacon. Bacon has and always will sound good for me and be good for me no matter what anyone says, which is why I include a pinch of bacon fat in the dressing. You know, for that earthy flavor.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  1. A big bag or box of leafy greens – Arugula, kale, spinach or romaine work great. I used a combo of spinach and arugula.
  2. two cups of cooked lentils
  3. 4 tomatoes
  4. 4 cloves of garlic
  5. bacon (I serve 3 strips per salad) and reserved fat
  6. one cup grated parmesan
  7. plenty of olive oil
  8. juice of one lemon
  9. plenty of pepper
  10. pinch of salt

Instructions:

To begin, broil the tomatoes. Cut them in half and lay them cut side up on a baking dish lined in foil (for easy cleanup. If you don’t have foil you can skip this part but get ready to scrub afterward). Smash and dice the garlic and distribute it evenly on top of each tomato. Drizzle olive oil lightly over the tops of the tomatoes, add salt and pepper and place in broiler. How long they take will depend on the heat of your oven; mine take forever (20+minutes) but when I made them at my parents they took 5 minutes. So keep an eye on them! Pull them out when the garlic on top of the tomatoes begins to brown. In the meantime, cook bacon to your liking. I cook mine at 350 degrees in the oven til crispy. Remember, bacon will continue to cook a bit after you pull it out… “crispy in the pan = burned on the plate.” When the bacon is finished, make the dressing. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of a lemon, half the parmesan cheese, a tablespoon of pepper, a pinch of salt and a liberal tablespoon or two of bacon fat (depending on how fatty and bacon-y you like it), in a small bowl or cup, then whisk the mixture together. If the bacon fat is hot enough, it will melt the cheese. Taste and adjust as needed. Then, lay out as many greens as will fit on your biggest salad plates. Scoop a cup of lentils on top of the mound of lettuce. Add the tomatoes. Crumble the bacon on top. Finally, pour the cheese-y, lemon-y, bacon-y dressing on top and garnish with the remaining parmesan.

 

 

 

 

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