When you serve guests a casually-thrown together salad from seasonal fresh ingredients and it’s still being raved about a year later, then maybe it’s time to try and recreate the salad and share the recipe! This salad is a cross between a Caprese salad and a BLT sandwhich. Sooooooo delicious! The homemade croutons are a must. Hope I got it exactly right for you Millie!
6 slices of uncured maple bacon, cooked crisp, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces( regular bacon is fine)
3 large yellow heirloom tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, ends cored(substitute any tomatoes such as beefsteak varieties; you need a flat bottomed tomato)
6 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese(bocconcini), diced in 1/2 inch pieces( you can substitute cumbled blue cheese or crumbled feta)
10 oz of butter lettuce or baby romaine lettuce, coarsely torn
1/4 c fresh basil, chiffonade cut
6 slices of 1/2″ thick French baguette
1/3 c olive oil, maybe more
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
optional: diced avocado
LEMONY GARLIC DRESSING: Wisk together juice and zest of 2 lemons, 2 t Dijon mustard, 3 cloves of garlic crushed. Gradually add in 1/2 c olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add 1/2 c sour cream, optional.
TO MAKE CROUTONS: Heat oil in skillet on moderate heat setting, add garlic, and brown the baguette, turning once, until golden on both sides. You don’t want the croutons too dry. Be very careful not to burn the garlic. Let cool on a paper towel and cut each slice into 4 croutons.
On a rimmed serving platter, spread the lettuce evenly. Place the 6 tomatoe halves, cut side up, on the lettuce. Season the tomatoes with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle bacon on top of each tomato half. Distribute the mozzarella evenly and sprinkle the basil over all the salad.Top with the croutons . Add the avocado if using.
When ready to serve, crown with a drizzle of the creamy lemony salad dressing with more on the side. Use a wide spatula to serve a tomato half, cut side up, to each guest.
Making the croutons:
A lively combination of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Summer in every bite!