Tomato, bacon, lettuce, and French bread are must-have ingredients for a classic BLT...but when tossed with a tangy homemade vinaigrette, they also make a tasty salad. That's right, I've morphed my favorite sandwich into my favorite salad. Originally, we called for letting the bread get stale overnight, but the truth is, stale bread can pick up a lot of funky flavors and, depending on humidity, it may not be dry enough. So now, we bake it. This recipe first appeared in Season 6 of Good Eats.Photo by Lynne Calamia
12ouncesyellow pear or other heirloom tomato, halved or roughly chopped, if using heirlooms
1small headromaine lettuce, chopped
1tablespoonthinly sliced fresh mint
1tablespoonthinly sliced fresh basil
ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutesminutes
TOTAL TIME: 35 minutesminutes
Yield: 4to 6 servings
Heat the oven to 350ºF.
Spread the bread cubes on a half sheet pan and bake until dry but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Place the bread cubes and half of the bacon drippings in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Place the rest of the bacon drippings in a 10-inch saute pan set over high heat. When the fat is nice and hot, add the grape tomatoes, cut side down, and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil in a large metal bowl to emulsify.
Invite the bacon, all the tomatoes, and the lettuce to the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add the bread cubes and toss again.