A BLT is a classic and in one form or another, seems to be on most restaurant menus. They are usually in the form of a sandwich and are so tempting to order. For some reason, they always leave me a little unsatisfied. Usually, the problem is with the bread. It is either too crispy, too thick, or there is just too much of it compared to the bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. I want to taste the inside of the sandwich with those wonderful flavors, darn it!
There’s a really easy solution to this problem. Simply remove the bread, add more lettuce, and you have yourself a delicious BLT salad.
I like a balsamic vinaigrette with my BLT salad instead of a heavier buttermilk dressing, but both are great. The sweetness and acidity of the vinaigrette goes great with the bacon, arugula and heirloom cherry tomatoes.
The bacon is pretty much the most important ingredient here. I mean, it is listed first in BLT, right? I’m super picky about the bacon I buy. Since it is one of the most perfect foods, but isn’t the healthiest, I want the bacon to be great. I like it to be thick sliced and have a nice smoky flavor. The double smoked thick sliced bacon at the Sprout’s meat counter is the best I have found. We kinda refuse to buy anything else now.
The best way to cook bacon
From my experience, the best way to cook bacon is in the oven.
There are a number of benefits to cooking bacon in the oven: low maintenance, no splatter all over your kitchen, it comes out perfect every time, you can cook more sliced in each batch and you can you can get a consistent crisping and rendering of the fat without burning it.
To cook bacon in the oven: Place the bacon slices on a foil-lined sheet pan (to make cleanup easy), sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over the bacon (helps with even crisping), then into a cold oven (bacon comes out best when it starts cold). Turn the oven on to 415 degrees (convection if you have it) and in about 10 to 15 minutes, you can turn the bacon over and give it another 5 or so minutes before it is perfectly crispy.
- 1 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp honey or sugar
- 1 tbs finely minced shallot
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz baby arugula or your favorite greens
- 4 slices crisp cooked bacon , hand torn into pieces
- 1/2 pint heirloom cherry or grape tomatoes , halved
Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients except the olive oil, to combine.
- Slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl while whisking at the same time to emulsify the vinaigrette.
- Taste for acidity, sweetness and salt, and adjust as needed.
Make the Salad
- Toss the arugula and sliced tomatoes with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately and top with the torn bacon.