b.l.t. salad with mayo vinaigrette
Man, I feel like Rachel Ray about to post this… ACK! I promise not to use the words “yummo” or “sammie” though (and please feel free to shoot me if I ever do).
Last night I didn’t get home until 9PM- I had worked late and then gone to get groceries afterwards. I needed something fast for dinner and somewhat on the lighter side, since I was eating so late. I had bought some Niman Ranch bacon (pretty much the only bacon I’ll buy anymore after reading this article in Rolling Stone) and a couple bags of greens, and had some little grape tomatoes on hand, so I thought “BLT”- only I didn’t want to eat all that bread. So I took two pieces of bacon, cut them into small pieces and fried them up while I made a mayo-based vinaigrette dressing. I then tossed the dressing with some baby spinach and wild arugula, drained the bacon bits on a paper towel and sprinkled those over the top with the tomatoes. I ate it with a small piece of toast, and it was a perfect meal. I’m sure this idea of BLT salad has been done before, but I so enjoyed my take on it that I thought I’d share anyway. The fact that the main ingredient is leafy greens makes it miles healthier than a BLT sandwich, but yet all the classic flavors are still there. I would actually venture to say that at least to my taste buds, this was much tastier than a BLT sandwich, but then I’m a big salad and greens fan. You could even cut back on the bacon and use only 1 slice, or three slices between two salads.
For the dressing, I didn’t measure, but I’ll try to approximate for you. You won’t usually find me putting mayo in my salad dressings- I usually prefer a “clean”-tasting vinaigrette- but I wanted to approximate that classic BLT flavor, and mayo is pretty integral to that. I made a large-ish individual salad, so adjust amounts if you’re cooking for two, or if you want smaller side salads. In the bowl in which you’re going to toss your greens, put a blob of mayo (about 1 tbs) and a much smaller blob of dijon mustard (maybe 1/2 tsp) and whisk together. Add a small amount of olive oil, about 1/2 to 1 tsp, and stir that in too. Whisk in some red wine vinegar, about 2 tsp. Season with a little salt (not too much- don’t forget your bacon will add salt) and freshly ground pepper. Taste for acidity- I like mine on the acidic side because it cuts through the richness of the bacon, but add a smidge more olive oil (or mayo) if it seems too tart. Toss in your greens (feel free to substitute other types of greens- the spinach-arugula mixture was pretty darn good though) and top with the bacon and tomato. This will make enough to dress a good-sized dinner salad for one. I plated mine for photo purposes; otherwise I would have saved a dish and just eaten it straight out of the bowl!