Everybody loves a good, old BLT, right? The bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich is an All-American classic. I sure do love them, especially with avocado, AKA the BLTA. Too many acronyms, I know. 😉 I let you know how much I love panzanella salad with my Greek Panzanella a little while back, so here’s another version for you. This BLTA Panzanella is a riff on the BLTA sandwich. The bread is in the salad instead of outside, in the form of homemade croutons. The croutons are mixed with fresh romaine, cherry tomatoes, thick cut bacon, and avocado, and it’s all tossed in a lemony vinaigrette. It’s fresh and vibrant, and a salad that’s sure to please everyone. It sure pleased me. 😀
I love making my own croutons because I like them really bland — just cook them in olive oil with a little salt, and they’re perfect. They don’t need flavor because they’re going to be soaking up all of that fresh, lemony vinaigrette. If you have a favorite store bought brand, I won’t hold it against you if you use them. I completely condone (and use) short cuts, especially when pressed for time. 🙂
The short cut rule certainly applies to the dressing, as well, but this lemony vinaigrette is completely no-fuss. You can literally throw it together in minutes. Just keep your lemons at room temperature to get the most juice out of them. That’s really all you need to remember.
This BLTA panzanella is a salad I’ll be making again and again. Serve with grilled chicken, and it’s your entire meal in one shot. It’s great for barbecues, picnics, or just any old day. This salad is comfort food at it’s finest. You can’t beat the classics. 😀
- (1) 4 ounce mini baguette or ½ large baguette, cut into ½" chunks
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- (1) 9 ounce bag romaine salad, pre-washed and chopped
- 3 slices thick cut bacon, cooked according to package instructions, and crumbled
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado, pitted and cut into small chunks
- Juice of 1½ lemons (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon white balsamic or white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Toss in the bread cubes and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Place in a bowl and set aside.
- Place the romaine, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and avocado in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, mustard, and vinegar. Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Add salt and pepper to taste, and whisk again.
- Add about a cup of the croutons to the salad and toss. If you like more croutons, add them -- if not, reserve the rest. Add the dressing and toss well to coat. Enjoy!
Add grilled chicken, and this salad is a meal!
Recipe inspired by Food Network's BLT Bread Salad