BLT Salad with Homemade Croûtons

Bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions and croutons in a white bowl

You know whats better than a BLT Sandwich?  

A BLT Salad with these homemade croûtons. So, Pepé is wondering why I’m cutting the bread into small cubes. He said, “Are you planning on making a bunch of teeny tiny BLT sandwiches?” I said, “No, of course not you silly nutcracker. I’m making a BLT salad. It’s kinda like a deconstructed sandwich that’s been tossed into a bowl. It’s gonna be much better tasting and much healthier than the sandwich.” Okay… Pepé is on board, but he rolling his eyes at me because I said It was a “deconstructed sandwich”. I think he’s heard that word (deconstructed) a little too much theses days from some fancy TV chefs, but hey, that’s really what this is, and it all comes together in about 20 minutes for a fast and healthy lunch or dinner.  If you’re avoiding gluten or carbs, just skip the homemade croûtons, but it’s my hubby’s second favorite part of any salad that I make. 

Close up image of pile of bacon on a white plate

Bacon… Some say it’s a condiment

True story… I read an article once that was written by a vegetarian and even he said that he ate bacon and considered it a condiment. Condiment or not, I like to buy Uncured (Nitrite-Free) Bacon from Circle B Ranch. They raise their Berkshire and Kurobuta hogs the old-fashioned way—meaning humanely-raised on pasture without added antibiotics or GMO food additives. They even have a bacon club and ship to many states in the midwest.

raw bacon sandwiched between layers of parchment paper on baking sheet. female hand pulling corner of parchment open to show strips of bacon
Sandwich bacon between layers of parchment paper and bake at 400°F for 12 minutes on one side. Flip bacon and cook for another 2 minutes. Times may vary depending on your oven.
Partially cooked bacon on baking sheet, sandwiched between layers of parchment paper. Paper pulled away to show bacon
This is what it looks like when it’s ready to flip. Some people have told me they don’t flip it at all, so feel free to see what works best for you.

Cooking all your bacon ahead of time is a real time saver. I bake  several pounds of bacon all at once in the oven between sheets of parchment paper and store it in a large plastic bag in the freezer. It cuts down on the mess and it’s great when you want to add it to a salad or use it as a topping for a bowl of soup. It also means you only have to clean up once. Who wants to dirty a skillet each time you want a piece of bacon? My husband has been known to eat a piece of bacon right from the freezer. He calls it a baconsicle. Sometimes I have to hide the bacon just so he won’t eat it all. 

I used a combination of romain lettuce and arugula in this particular salad.

Lettuce… gotta have something green in this salad

You can use any type of lettuce or combination of lettuce or greens as you wish. I love adding arugula (or rocket as it’s called on the other side of the pond) because it has a nice peppery flavor. Romain is nice because it has a nice crunch. I tend to stay away from Iceburg lettuce just because it has almost zero nutritional value. 

Several whole tomatoes in background with more cut up tomatoes in foreground on cutting board. Also has chopped cooked bacon on cutting board with knife. Brass bowl in background on the right.

Tis the season for too many Tomatoes

Don’t stress about what kind of tomatoes to use, just use whatever you like. I use about a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes per person, or one large Roma per person, or half of a large slicing tomato per person. It’s your salad, go crazy, no need to measure anything. 

Close up image of cherry tomatoes, red onion slices, arugula and a fried egg with a runny yolk. egg is cut to show runny yolk.

To add dressing, or not to add dressing

I love dressing on other salads, but for some reason, I just don’t think this salad needs it. The tomatoes and the runny yolk seem to be enough flavor for me. I could put egg yolk on lots of things. I love that liquid gold. My husband does not agree with me on this at all. He likes ranch dressing on his BLT Salad, or my homemade Ceaser dressing (Recipe coming soon to a blog near you!)

BLT Salad with Homemade Croûtons

This BLT Salad is fast, easy, healthy and one of many ways to use up those summer tomatoes. The warm croûtons just take it to a whole other level.
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Romain Lettuce or greens of your choice
  • 2 Thick Slices of Roasted Garlic Bread or other dense rustic bread
  • 4 Slices Cooked Bacon chopped
  • 1 Large Tomato or 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, or 2 large Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Onion red, yellow or white
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Eggs optional
  • Salad dressing of choice or none at all. I don’t use any unless you consider the egg yolk dressing

Instructions

  • Start by making the croûtons. Preheat oven to 425°F. I prefer a toaster oven because it heats up quick and takes less energy. Cut the bread slices into cubes and put them into a large bowl. Drizzle them with a light coating of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss them a bit to coat each piece with the olive oil. Pour croûtons on a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes. Check to see if the outside is starting to get crisp. You want them slightly crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside.
  • Meanwhile, cut your lettuce, onions tomatoes and bacon*. Heat up the bacon in a skillet or about 12 seconds in a microwave if using precooked bacon. Remove the bacon from skillet and add a little Olive oil to the pan. Fry the egg on medium to medium high until the whites are cooked and the yolk is still runny. I feel like the juice from the tomatoes and runny yolk from the egg is all the dressing I need, so you’ll save some calories there and get some extra protein. Your egg and croûtons will probably take about the same time.

Notes

 I always precook all my bacon (several pounds at a time and store in the freezer for convenience)

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