Oh how excited I am to share this recipe with you friends!
Yesterday I had a serious craving for bacon… don’t know what came over me but I had it for both lunch and dinner! I know a certain someone who’d be proud 😉
I also purchased some of the best Italian bread earlier in the day and wanted to incorporate this into some sort of one dish meal for a relaxing Saturday night…
That’s when this was “born”!
BLT Panzanella Salad
Combining the flavors of farmer’s market vegetables with bacon, bleu cheese, balsamic & fresh bread this was a twist on both a well-known sandwich combined with a classic Italian panzanella salad (aka bread salad).
- romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 slices 365 brand natural bacon
- 1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
- 3 slices good Italian bread
- 1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- 2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tblsp olive oil
- 1 tsp reserved bacon grease from cooking
First on the agenda was cooking the bacon, which I love to do in the oven!
400F for 15 minutes and no fail, your bacon will be perfect… and all the grease will have drained away 🙂
I also toasted up the bread for a couple minutes until crispy.
The bread portion of this salad was inspired by this episode of Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie: Tuscan Simplicity. Watching them make this rustic bread salad made me want to pick up and move to Italy, like yesterday 😉
After toasting the bread I let it get friendly with 1 tblsp both balsamic vinegar and olive oil, plus some S&P.
The crispy bread immediately began to soak up the liquids and the longer it sat the more flavorful/tender that once crunchy bread became.
Like a soft yet kind of crunchy crouton, this is definitely on of my new favorite fun food textures! 😀
Then the salad veggies were assembled: romaine lettuce, tomato and onion (these farmer’s market onions are far superior than store bought, why haven’t I picked them up before?!)
I always give our salads a sprinkling of fresh cracked pepper & a bit of salt too…. mmmmm!
Then the bacon went on top, which I crumbled once it was done baking.
Followed by the crumbled bleu cheese (or whatever cheese you like, if bleu cheese ain’t your thang :P)
Lastly went on the oil & vinegar soaked bread chunks.
I was seriously drooling already over this haha…
And to serve, it was topped with a homemade bacon balsamic vinaigrette.
I just couldn’t let some of that bacon flavor go to waste, and a little bacon fat never hurt anyone now did it 😉
Needless to say we scraped this salad bowl clean!
The Man declared this to be one of the “best salads he’s ever had” … and if I can make him happy with a salad-only meal then I know I’ve done well!
Although I don’t think I’d eat bacon like this everyday, it was a fabulous salad “treat” and was definitely of restaurant quality or better. I’m glad to have this idea in my recipe “arsenal” if you will, because I definitely think it would be a crowd pleaser 🙂
Well time to go check on my homemade chicken stock… I’m feelin’ productive this morning!
Have you ever tried panzanella salad? If so, did you like the idea of a “bread salad”?